Weekend Confirmed 117 - E3 2012 final retrospective

By Garnett Lee, Jun 15, 2012 11:00am PDT

E3 is a show big it requires more than one show to cover it all. Garnett is joined by Jeff Cannata, Christian Spicer, and Andrew Yoon in a fiery debate about Wii U's potential, Vita-PS3 cross-play integration, and Internet Explorer for Xbox. Garnett leads the Weekend Confirmed crew in a passionate talk about the recent Tomb Raider controversy. And finally, there is more Diablo 3 talk, of course.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 117: 06/15/2012

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Weekend Confirmed comes in four segments to make it easy to listen to in segments or all at once. Here's the timing for this week's episode:

    Show Breakdown:

    Round 1 00:00:41 – 00:30:43

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 1 00:31:15 – 00:58:42

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 2 00:59:38 – 01:30:45

    Listener Feedback/Front Page News 01:31:34 – 02:06:52

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Jeff Cannata can also be seen on The Totally Rad Show. They've gone daily so there's a new segment to watch every day of the week!

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Christian Spicer @spicer

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Original music in the show by Del Rio. Get his latest Album, The Wait is Over on iTunes. Check out more, including the Super Mega Worm mix and other mash-ups on his ReverbNation page or Facebook page, and follow him on twitter @delriomusic.

Click here to comment...


  • Really enjoyed this show guys. I'm glad Garnett & Co made sure the podcast was about the games/tech at E3 rather than the show these last couple episodes. Last year I felt (and made a comment about it here) a lot of podcast/shows/programmes feeling like they were commenting as 'PR critics' rather than games writers/reporters/commenters/whatever, but nipping it in the bud on the show allowed a more informative and thoughtful (and therefore entertaining) podcast, at least for me.

    Also, I thought the comments/discussion on the Tomb Raider scene was great. I thought the discusion had a lot of thoughtful, measured and REASONABLE insights, reactions and comments, and was spot on. The maturity of the games medium and gaming should be measured by the discussion/thought/reactions around it in my opinion, rather than the games, and the discussion and the way it was handled makes me feel 'it's getting there', as it were.

    Cheers, and keep it up!

  • Since I don't see a thread for it already I want to talk about Wii U launch killer apps specifically. I think you guys are underestimating the power of Wii Fit and 2D Mario.

    Somewhere there's a graph comparing the sales of every main Mario game. I can't find it right now, but it shows that the NSMB games have sold far more than any Mario game since the original SMB (which no other Mario game has been able to match, partly due to hardware bundles). Their numbers tower over the rest of the franchise and really Nintendo's games in general. 2D Mario has almost become Nintendo's Call of Duty. We'll see how well NSMB2 does, but I'm kind of surprised people are kind of ignoring how much that franchise sells and how ideal a launch title it is for the Wii U.

    That and it's probably still going to be an excellent game. If you don't like it, you can also just get Rayman Legends.

    I don't know how much the mass audience generally still cares about Wii Fit, but that new game could also be big if released at launch. Do people remember how much that sold? To be honest I kinda wanna play that trampoline mini game they showed at E3. Best of all, if you still own a balance board you won't have to buy another one for this game. I just don't think we should ignore it sales-wise.

  • Completely agree with Jeff on the star wars game, surely the setting alone is enough to satisfy fans. This way a Jedi can be a big deal if you meet or target one in the game. I'm pretty sure since Vadar and yoda make regular appearances on tv selling phones and burgers, I can go without seeing them in one related property.

    Also that star trek game, who thought that was a good idea, even if the mechanics were sound, it has the stench of a movie tie-in. If they had reskinned the character models to original series they might have peeked interest and made decent sales, like the transformers game developers who made war for cyber torn in between crappy movie tie ins. By making the models more in line with the cartoon series they peeked the nostalgia markets interest, and the game didn't appear throwaway.

  • Sorry, but I'm not reading through 201 earlier comments, but I wanted to quickly weigh in on the Wii U "potential" discussion.

    I know there's quite a bit of "what if" going on, as Nintendo hasn't shown all the cards on this most recent play as they (arguably) should have, but I think there are plenty of "Appointment" games that could come out of the Wii U. For example, Jeff likely remembers Hero Quest, an excellent board game I played many years ago that involved a limited "dungeon master" and a group of other players. How about giving the WiiPad to one individual and having 2-4 other people play through a Diablo-esque game that lasts maybe 30-60 min, allowing for a "rotation" of players and masters.

    Obviously, that concept could be expanded into other "on the fly" user-generated content games. To some degree, New Super Mario Bros. U gets at that by allowing the WiiPad holder to add additional "blocks" to help or hurt the people playing the game.

    And, before you say "well, you could do that with the Vita too" or "let me do it on my iPad with SmartGlass," remember that the Wii U's primary strength is that you'll have the console AND the WiiPad in the same box. New buyers of PS3s or 360s don't necessarily have those devices on hand.

    The Wii U Diablo example above is just a good example of "pick up and play." Already connected. Put the disc in. And go. No fiddling with connectivity issues, no explaining how to work the device, nothing. Just start playing. Something the PS3 and Xbox 360, likely, won't be able to really do until the next generation...

    ...until they copy Nintendo and do the same thing...

  • I disagree with Jeff about the mature handling of violence in the "The Last of Us" Demo. The violence in this game did not matter because it is handled totally out of context.
    You play a guy who tries to survive and work together or take care of a 14 year old girl.
    Two times in the demo you MURDER a guy who has been disarmed. The first of those gets hit by a brick to his and is unable to defend himself. You smash his head against a piece of furniture until it is covered with blood.
    The last guy in this demo gets slaughtered by you as a player. He lies on the ground and begs for his life and in the demo his head gets blown off by a shootgun. WTF. In this world you just try to survive and ammunition is sparse and this behaviour is totally unnecessary. Dont you want to stay low profile in this world. Shooting this guy would just draw other foes towards you. Why would you waste the ammunition and murder that helpless guy. Wouldn't it be more HERO like to tie this guy up and let him live. Thats what would make you a hero. Just murdering the guys that try to kill you makes you not one bit better than them. You become the same low life like those guys.
    Thats what really bugged me in this demo of The Last of Us. I hope your character in the game suffers dramatically from this behaviour. Otherwise it is again just another shooting game with no consequences. The game industrie should grow up. Another missed opportunity. Sorry for my bad english. Great show. Thanks guys. Greetings from Germany.

  • Another thing I found fascinating about the WiiU disscussion. So the gamepad is what you give to the younger sibling or the one who's lowest on the list. Really the conversation last year was what about the person who doesn't get to use the gamepad.

    I get it different is bad and flip flopping to make the point that the WiiU isn't for you. The conversation felt very lebron and Carmelo. One gave a years notice that he was leaving the other just left. You can't be mad at both of them unless your crazy fanatical which gamers are most of the time.

  • I thought the Vita discussion was great this week. You guys really paired down the system's issues, and looked at it from multiple angles. I think the conclusion I've come to is that while the system needs its own experiences such as AC Liberation, and asynchronous things tied to PS3 games, their needs to be a digital platform that bridges all Playstation hardware.

    If you look at how successful the App store has been for Apple, one of the primary reasons is that it works almost 100% across all their handsets---even between older and newer hardware. So I think Sony's major issue is, when I buy a game like Journey from the Playstation Store (not the "Playstation 3" Store) I can't transport it to the Vita, and really because Sony didn't even try to plan for it.

    The 360's Arcade store has been criticized for putting all these parameters around their titles, but the benefit of that is that it creates a controlled platform that as a result can be replicated on other, less powerful, hardware. Now here we are with Sony investing tons of money in making the Vita so powerful, and so console like in its inputs. But they can't even give players access to even retro games like MK2, or things like Bionic Commando Rearmed, let alone all PS1 titles.

    They do offer "Playstation Minis" and PSP backwards compatibility, and now Playstation Mobile, but in the modern era of the App store, it begs the question, why is there a difference between a "Playstation Mini" or whatever, and just a PS3 PSN game. From a technical perspective there is often no difference---or it is an arbitrary matter of licensing or formatting. Sony doesn't really have a walled garden. Its more like they have a garden with a lot of walls in it. It is basically a maze for consumers that prevents them from finding any value proposition in digital Playstation products.

  • Isn't there a big misinterpretation happening with the NPD numbers? I thought these are solely physical retail releases. So for me it's no surprise at all that there are less retail releases, because many developers are shifting their focus towards the numerous digital release platforms: XBLA, PSN, Steam, iOS (!), Android.

    I am a perfect example for why NPD revenues are going down:
    I used to buy and play about 2 retail games per month on my 360 1-2 years ago. Now however I buy only about 1 retail game per month and spend the rest of my budget on Xbla games and DLC, plus the occasional $1 on iOS -- which easily racks up another $60 per month.

    The NPD numbers to me are really not that relevant anymore considering they are missing a growing portion of the money spent on digital games and additional content... And if we want to look at them, then please don't compare them to past years' numbers when consumer buying habits are clearly evolving, thus rendering direct comparisons year-over-year false.