I'm not going to quibble with Nintendo's policy, now long established, of addressing fans directly through a pre-recorded showcase at E3 rather than going through the rigmarole of a live event. Nor am I going to dispute that the Nintendo Direct videos that have proliferated through the gaming year to offer roundups, announcements and deep-dives work well for both Nintendo and its community; nor argue that it is a bad idea to spread these moments around rather than concentrate them in a single info-burst in June. They make Switch feel like the bustling, exciting platform it absolutely is.
There are a number of reasons why Sony's PlayStation showcase at this year's E3 was a little odd - and to be fair to the electronics giant, it did warn us. A few weeks ago, Sony issued word that it would be taking a new approach, avoiding major first-party announcements and focusing on four games that had already broken cover at least a year previously: Spider-Man, The Last of Us Part 2, Death Stranding and Ghosts of Tsushima. (Days Gone, star of the show two years ago, seems to have been thrown under a bus - and it's probably for the best.)
From Software is making a game exclusively for PlayStation VR which was revealed in a trailer that screened after the end of Sony's E3 showcase. Because Sony aren't doing anything by the book this year, it seems.
Valve has chosen the middle of E3's PC Gaming Show to announce that it is launching Steam China in collaboration with local games operator Perfect World.
The Crew 2, Ubisoft's open-world multi-vehicle racing game, will have an open beta next week, just ahead of its 29th June launch.
It was a great show, moving at a brisk clip, unburdened with cringeworthy banter, peppered with noteworthy announcements and premieres, and positively stuffed with games: 50 of the things, a lot of them looking rather good. Just as significantly, it felt addressed to Xbox gamers directly, rather than pundits, analysts and stakeholders.
At its E3 conference, Bethesda announced that Fallout Shelter, its popular vault management spin-off, is being released for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch - and it's out now.
Microsoft announced Forza Horizon 4 at its E3 press conference, and it's out on October 2nd for Xbox One and Windows PC. It will be included with Xbox Game Pass.
EA announced another game for its EA Originals label at its E3 show today, and it's working once again with a small indie developer: Berlin's Jo-Mei Games.
Yesterday, in response to a couple of recent controversies, Valve announced that it would abandon its (few, vestigial) efforts to curate the content of games on its ubiquitous PC gaming platform, Steam. "We've decided that the right approach is to allow everything onto the Steam Store," Valve's Erik Johnson said in a blog post, "except for things that we decide are illegal, or straight up trolling."
The main menu screen for Detroit: Become Human - Quantic Dream's new game about androids discovering free will and rising up against their human masters - features the face, stunningly well realised, of an android who talks directly to the player. The android looks like a young, pretty, white woman. She asks if we are enjoying ourselves, suggests we take a survey, jokes about the game save being corrupted. If you leave the menu on long enough, she changes the subject. Did we know about the underground railroad, the secret network which helped black slaves escape the antebellum South of the USA? Then she starts to sing, quietly, pleadingly: "Hold on just a little while longer, everything will be alright." It turns out this is a traditional gospel song. She might as well have burst into "We Shall Overcome."
Days Gone is the quintessential 2018 video game. Actually, to be precise and only a bit mean, it's the quintessential 2015 video game. It's an open-world zombie-apocalypse survival adventure with a hard-bitten rebel hero who has a code of honour and an upgradeable motorcycle. In the game, you scavenge and craft, shoot, drive and brawl, follow waypoints and get stuck on tree trunks. The rebel hero, who is called Deacon St John, growls things like, "I don't shoot women if I have a choice." The art strives for poetic decay but, for the most part, only musters a rural-trailer-park drabness. I played it four days ago and can't remember what Deacon looks like. The Last of Us it isn't, even though The Last of Us is clearly what it wants to be. And State of Decay. And Sons of Anarchy. And DayZ.
About three and a half years ago, when we were looking to expand Eurogamer's video team, Wesley and I had lunch in a pub in South London with a young man called Chris Bratt. We knew him from videos in which he would play a confused and adorably awkward stooge to the comic creations of VideoGamer's Jim Trinca. The man we met was confused and adorably awkward, but also passionate, idealistic, smart, and willing to berate his prospective employers about the greatness of strategy gaming for a really surprising length of time. We hired him.
Hello! It's that time of year again - if by "time of year" I can be permitted to refer to anything between early February and mid-May - when we ask if you would be kind enough to fill out a quick survey telling us about yourself.
Last year, the New York Times ran a fascinating, faintly scary story about Hollywood's intellectual property crisis. Through the lens of one producer's desperate attempt to make a film out of the mobile game Fruit Ninja, the piece explored how the major movie studios' retreat from risk of any kind had led to a market where films were vastly more likely to get made if they had some kind of recognisable licence attached - even if that property featured no characters or obvious storytelling potential. Films were being made out of old board games, toy lines, even emojis.
Hello! It's the first day of EGX Rezzed 2018 at Tobacco Dock in London, and we think we've fixed the heating in the staff room. (Rezzed is run by Eurogamer's parent company, Gamer Network.) To kick the show off today, I'll be interviewing Tim Schafer, the head of Double Fine Productions and creator of Grim Fandango and Psychonauts - and newly anointed BAFTA Fellow - live on stage about his career in games.
A Way Out, the new game from the Swedish-Lebanese director Josef Fares and his team Hazelight Studios, absolutely insists on being played co-operatively by two players. Not just two players, but two friends. The action is followed using a clever, dynamic split-screen display that keeps the two player characters in view at (almost) all times, and the game is best experienced in local play. It can be played online, but not with strangers; there's no matchmaking and you can issue invites to your friends list only. You are, at least, granted a Friend Pass that lets your online buddy download the game and play with you for free.
To call Ready Player One - Steven Spielberg's new film, adapted from the novel by Ernest Cline - self-referential would be quite an understatement. It's a mind-warping cultural Möbius strip: a one-dimensional entity with no end and no beginning, permanently twisting in on itself. It's a futuristic work of science-fiction that is obsessed with nostalgia. It's a film about video games made by a director who was a huge formative influence on the medium, observing his own reflection in a funhouse mirror. It's what happens when fan fiction becomes dominant over the true works of imagination it pays homage to.
Hello! I'll keep this brief, because I'm sure you're itching to have a look around. This is our new home. We hope you like it.
For decades, film adaptations of video game properties have sucked - but to be fair to their beleaguered makers, they have faced some intractable problems. Early video games had great name recognition and more than their fair share of iconic imagery, but their lead characters were vacant mascots and their action often defied rational explanation, never mind motivation or plot structure. Filmmakers had to either make this stuff up as they went along, like the disastrous 1993 Super Mario Bros. film - and face the scorn of video game fans who didn't see any of what they loved on screen - or abandon any ambition to flesh out their source material and make something resembling a normal film.
Big news for Eurogamer today: after 18 years as an independent, our parent company Gamer Network has been acquired by ReedPOP. ReedPOP is an American events company that, among other things, owns and operates the PAX gaming events that Eurogamer readers will surely be familiar with. (I've included the full press release announcing this news below.)
Gamer Network - the company which owns and operates Eurogamer - will launch its first consumer games event outside the UK this year when EGX comes to Berlin.
Shadow of the Colossus, like its predecessor Ico and successor The Last Guardian, is an artist's game. Its creative lead, Fumito Ueda, is an artist and animator with an instantly recognisable style: cracked stone, bleached sunlight, smoky shadows, frail limbs and pale, unfocused, unreadable faces. The three games are notable for their minimalist design, and they are no small feats of engineering, but it is the art that makes their worlds of innocence and ruin so indelible.
I am being somewhat facetious with that subheading, not to mention self-indulgent. (For the uninitiated, it's a reference to my predecessor Tom Bramwell's classic, stinging editorial on Microsoft's misguided plans for how Xbox One software would work - plans that would eventually be ditched.) With yesterday's announcement that all first-party exclusive games would be added to the Xbox Game Pass subscription service on release date, Microsoft is not killing game ownership. It's not even trying to.