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Checkpoint: E3 2013 Edition

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E3 2013 begins tomorrow and it’s going to be the most interesting E3 in half a decade. We’re done with the preliminary reveals and fluff, it’s time to get down to the games.

This E3 will also hold many genuine surprises. In previous years, the audience was privy to numerous leaks and predictable announcements. This is the time for new original titles and  crazy new ideas that may or may not survive beyond infancy of the next generation of consoles.

Oh the possibilities.

This is the first time that I’ll be home during E3 week. I didn’t exactly plan for it but since I had other appointments and obligations, I decided to go ahead and book off the entire week.

I am going to jot down some predictions here. Most of them will be surrounding the new hardware prices and platform services.

Price drop for the Wii U

I totally expect the Wii U to drop down to $299 for a new Deluxe model and $249.99 for the new Basic model. I believe Nintendo will be better off with a $249.99/$199.99 pricing arrangement but that is aggressive and I don’t think they’re willing to go down by that much.

PlayStation 4 Pricing

I am preparing for a $499.99 price tag for the “premium” model and $399.99 for the “basic” model. Sony will not launch with $599.99 again.

Xbox One Pricing

I see a $499.99/$399.99 split for Microsoft as well. But I put credence to the rumors of a subsidized $299.99 model.

PlayStation Network Services

I suspect multiplayer will remain free but other services (such as streaming) will be included under the PlayStation Plus banner.

I also expect Sony to announce a used game’s policy similar to Microsoft’s.

Xbox Live! Services

I want the multiplayer to be free but I doubt Microsoft will kill that revenue stream.

I finished God of War: Ascension the other day. I didn’t find it to be particularly engaging. I’m not tired of the God of War formula, that just wasn’t a very good campaign.

I started Fire Emblem: Awakening and I am enjoying my time with it despite all the quitting and reloading that I’m doing to get around the permadeath penalty. Sorry if that’s not the way I should be playing it but perhaps they should have saved more frequently like Firaxis did with X-COM: Enemy Unknown.

Speaking of Firaxis, I started playing the Gods & Kings expansion of Civilization V. I’m impressed with it thus far. I’m also playing the multiplayer mode for the first time. I’m enjoying it but early on it feels like I’m playing by my lonesome.

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