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The Electronic Entertainment Expo is only a week away! The Gamnesia writing staff has been beefed up for the occasion, and our very own Colin McIsaac will be attending the show! Colin will be offering exclusive previews and impressions, but you can get recapped on all of our E3 coverage over here. This article is for something else.

The Gamnesia staff has come together to discuss Microsoft's E3 prospects. Can the Xbox One rebound after a bumpy reveal? What exclusives are coming to Microsoft's new console? We bring our collective thoughts to the (round)table, offering our opinions on the latest Xbox. We also take a few stabs on the dark, predicting how Microsoft's E3 conference will affect the public, and how the public will affect Microsoft.

Without further ado, let's begin! Head past the jump to see our thoughts!

There has been a lot of "hate" tossed out at the Xbox One since it was unveiled the other day, and you could argue that some of that "hate" will likely be applied to Sony's Playstation 4 as well after more details are released. However, there is really just one aspect that truly bothers me: the attitudes towards the used game market.

I have been reading several opinions on this topic, but nothing sticks out to me more than some comments from Ben Kuchera at Penny Arcade:

Without the used market sucking up all those sales and all that consumer money, it's very possible we'll see Steam-style sales on older or bundled games on the Xbox One. It's not a sure thing, but killing used games is going to free up a ton of money for companies to try new ideas in terms of sales and pricing. The people who get innovative and take advantage of this structure will thrive. The rest are likely to slowly choke on the new economics of game development.

It needs to be made clear, if all the studio closings and constant lay-offs haven't made this explicit: The current economics of game development and sales are unsustainable. Games cost more to make, piracy is an issue, used-games are pushed over new, and players say the $60 cost is too high. Microsoft's initiatives with the Xbox One may solve many of these issues, even if we grumble about it. These changes ultimately make the industry healthier.

What about this stands out to me? Find out after the jump.

E3 is just around the corner, and it's about time we all jump aboard the hype train! Everybody's preparing for the event, and surely you have a few ideas of what you'd like to see at the conference, so we'd like to hear them! Ubisoft is sure to show off great titles like Watch Dogs and Assassin's Creed IV, while the next installment in the hit Call of Duty series will likely be shown in greater detail either on the show floor or during a few big presentations. Meanwhile, Nintendo is actually forgoing the traditional E3 conferences in lieu of a Nintendo Direct broadcast streaming form their website at 10:00 AM, EST on June 11th.

Of course, everyone has hopes, everyone has expectations; we want to know what yours are. Head to the comments to share your hopes and to see what your fellow Gamnesia readers are most hyped about. We hope to feature some of our favorite comments from this article in a fan gallery next week, so don't forget to speak up! Also be sure to head past the jump to see my own hopes for the conference.

A funny thing happened towards the end of the Year of Our Lord 2011. Bethesda released the latest entry in the ongoing Elder Scrolls saga, Skyrim. It was met with much fanfare and greeted with both critical and commercial success. People would play it, stories would be shared, and eventually the next thing would come along and replace it. That was how it was supposed to go—for that is the arc that most great games follow.

But something different happened with Skyrim. Something unprecedented for a single-player adventure RPG—it remained in the headlines. Even now, casual perusal of popular video game blogs and news sites will lead to brand new stories about Skyrim. It's been almost two years, and Skyrim is still in the headlines.

How is this possible? How did Bethesda manage to achieve this dream scenario in which their game is still being received as a major new title this long after release, with barely any input from themselves?

There's a simple and beautiful answer to this question—read on to find out what it is.

Dust 514 Review

May 27 2013 by Joshua Hitz

Spaceships, other worlds, adventure, and money all come to your ear and make you think one thing: “I want all of that.” Frankly, who wouldn’t? So when CCP Games, the makers of the popular intergalactic MMO EVE Online, promised console gamers their own space adventure with the first person shooter Dust 514, everyone was excited, myself included.

It’s unfortunate then that the promises of a console game interacting with PC are extremely lack luster. Dust 514 boils down to a generic, only slightly entertaining first person shooter, with few of its promises being kept.

Head past the jump to keep reading!

Nintendo needs to get their act together. You read that first sentence correctly. Nintendo is having a lot of trouble right now, what with a rough Wii U launch and other competitors announcing shiny new consoles. The Big N is in financial danger, and that fact simply cannot be ignored.

However, that problem is miniscule to the issue concerning the interaction the publisher has with its loyal consumers. We fans give Nintendo our all. We purchase their brand new games. We support them when the going gets rough. We create new things to show our appreciation and love for the company! Nintendo fans love Nintendo.

Unfortunately, it seems like Nintendo doesn't love us back. They constantly push us around, instigating fear in our hearts, then treat their harassment similarly to a joke, expecting us consumers to buy their new software and hardware. The same goddamn routine has been repeated for decades now.

However, there's a fine, fine line. The negative realizations have been swimming around my brain for the past few months, and the true epiphany has just hit me. We give everything to Nintendo. In return, they scare us and expect us to make up like a couple of first grade girls.

One recent event has sparked this fury in me, and it's an abomination to the industry as a whole. Wonder why the population generally frowns upon video games? Here is your reason. The following video reveals the Satanic and downright evil business tactics of Nintendo, painting their loyal followers in shame and embarrassment.

I invite you all to hit the jump right now and enlighten yourself on the issue. You can be part of the revolution.

We have been so wrapped up in the positives and negatives surrounding Nintendo’s Wii U lately that it’s almost easy to forget that the New Xbox is being unveiled in just a couple days. Always Online rumors seemed to have really killed a lot of the hype the Next Xbox was getting, but soon we can set aside all the rumors and know the truth.

I was a big Xbox 360 fan myself. I really liked the smooth interface, and while not a fan of Xbox Live, I understand it had its merits. Besides, most of my online gaming friends also owned a 360… so it made sense as a community based console. The Next Xbox is ready to be unveiled and I have some predictions ahead that I feel will happen – whether we like it or not.

Look, I don't like Apple. They crank out a similar product each year and charge an arm and a leg for it. I'm nearly positive that they have invented the iPhone 20S and planned backwards from that. However, whatever your opinion is on smart phones, there is no denying that the technology is affecting modern gaming, and that they impact the industry greater than you may think.

Yesterday, an EA employee spoke out and stated that "the Wii U is crap," and "Nintendo should have pulled a Sega." He also says "the casual market is on mobile/tablet now." Many comments on this news piece Nate wrote criticized the mobile market, stating mobile games do not matter.

I do disagree with the EA employee and I'm positive that the Wii U will recover, but I also recognize the increasingly foreboding force of smart phones and tablets. Yes, many of these so-called "games" are cheap cash-ins. Yes, the App Store for Apple users has layout problems. However, the market for tablets and smart phones is ever-growing, and it is cutting into the video game industry.

More after the jump.

So say a new game has just been announced with a fancy new trailer and let's face it, you're hyped, but you decide not to pay attention to any new trailers or details for it because you know you're buying it day one regardless. After all you're a smart guy/gal and it's not like the trailer is going to lie and the game is actually bad, right?

Well now it's been over 2 years since it was announced and the game is just about to come out meaning it's probably already on The Pirate Bay. But you can't help but wonder if you should read up on it to see whether or not you should actually buy it and it boils down to one thing, should you go in clueless and blind or should you go in informed? You don't have a choice in The Starship Damrey.

The Starship Damrey throws you into its story with no tutorials, hints, or even any backstory. You are alone and have no idea where you are or what a single button on the 3DS does. It's an interesting concept, especially since this this makes almost every little plot detail a spoiler, but it also gives the game a heavy and mysterious feeling to it. It's a good game and well-worth trying, but sometimes I just wish I knew a bit more about what was going on, but considering its concept I suppose I'd prefer to still go in blind. I've done it before with games like Virtue's Last Reward and BioShock Infinite and was much more pleased than I was with other games I had been informed about like Lego City: Undercover, which is still a good game. So I want to know, do you prefer to go in blind when it comes to certain video goes or do you prefer being informed?

There have been some conversations breaking out all over the net defending EA a bit because Frostbite 2 didn’t have very good initial tests and as such, Frostbite 3 “can’t” support the platform. EA has gotten a lot of flak over SimCity, but people are starting to actually give them a pass for the lack of support to Nintendo consoles. Hey, it’s the Wii U – it’s not as powerful as PS4 so it’s really not a Next-Generation console anyways!

Well, EA said it indeed was a next generation console:

"It is the first next-generation platform coming out so we're really supporting it.” – Frank Gibeau, EA Game’s Label President

Well, they must have said that in 2011… right? Wrong – this was said in June of last year. Then, former EA CEO Mr. Riccitiello pointed out rather clearly that the Wii U is not considered a Next-Generation platform for them in January, 2013:

“Ours is an industry where a lot of devices come in and represent themselves as the next generation, or the next generation after that. In many ways we would argue that what we’re describing as ‘Gen 4′ is yet to come. It’s that we’re excited about, and that’s what we’re investing in.”

In referencing the whole “Gen 4” situation, it’s completely ignoring Nintendo, who is well past “4” generation of hardware. That means they consider their gens to be starting when the PlayStation was released, and they don’t consider Nintendo relevant anymore.

I love video games. I also happen to love television and film — particularly television and film with good scripts. I write a lot of my own stuff, so I tend to be that guy who says things like "huh, that was well structured" while a dude's getting hit in the balls. Naturally, I love it when my areas of interest overlap; like the Zelda documentary being made, or the Redwall video game currently being developed.

Unfortunately, there are times when the overlaps aren't pleasant to sit through. Usually, the overlap happens in one particular area; when a film or television program discusses video games, they do so with almost no integrity whatsoever. It's an incredibly frustrating issue to me, and one that I've ranted on a handful of times to various friends.

Jump inside for examples and complaints; your favorite!

This is a guest article written by James Widdowson. If you would like to submit your own guest article, we encourage you to do so here or email your work to [email protected]

The video game crash of 1983 was a pivotal moment in the history of video games. When Atari released the Video Computer System — known today as the Atari 2600, although that never became its official name until 1982 — they managed to bring a niche product, video games, to the mainstream. In terms of historical significance the Atari VCS is widely viewed today as one of the greatest consoles of all time, and the one that our entire modern industry is built upon. Atari had huge success in the late 70’s and early 80’s, a success that other companies such as Coleco, Bally, Milton Bradley and Mattel also wanted a slice of. All these companies in turn released their own consoles, all superior to the VCS in the technical department, but none of them could come close to matching its success. The Atari VCS was the king of the industry, and the competition was nothing more than its court jesters. But as the years went on the overabundance of consoles and bad, cash grabbing games on the market (such as the infamous ET: The Extra Terrestrial) meant that the industry couldn’t withstand its own weight, and it inevitably crashed.

The video game crash is widely acknowledged today as an event that we wouldn’t want to see repeat itself, but I don’t understand why that is the common view. Although the crash nearly destroyed the industry before it really hit the big time, from its ashes Nintendo carried its Famicom system across the seas from Japan and brought the industry back from the brink. If you look at those immediate five or ten years following the release of the NES it marked the golden age of video games, a unique time in history marked by continual innovation and new ideas. On paper the crash may have appeared to be a bad thing, but as a result, we all received something far greater than what we would have gotten had the industry stayed the way it was.

Head past the jump to keep reading!

I know, EA is the devil. They are the flag carrier for everything that is wrong in the industry. Be it forced DRM in games that don't need it (Hello SimCity... oh wait that's an MMO! Right...), Day one and on-disc DLC, and of course the cursed Micro-Transaction stuff in a full $60 game (micro-transactions in a free-to-play game makes sense. Not in a full $60 retail game.). In essence, EA the publisher has done a lot of things to piss fans off. We have every right to not trust them with anything. However, let’s take off the hater glasses and realize something about this whole situation: EA's development studios make great games.

Lucas Arts has produced a few gems in their day, but most of them were over a decade ago. In general, Star Wars games have been a lot of hype followed by a festering of disappointing reality. The Force Unleashed series, as an example, held so much potential... but if failed to really fully capitalize on its own ideals. As such, it was an okay game, but far from spectacular. 

Believe it or not, the staff members at Gamnesia and ZI aren't all androids. Yes, we play games just like you. And we have opinions on them.

Whether we're keeping up with the latest software from the industry or catching up on the games we missed from previous generations or picking up some overlooked gems on the cheap, we fit our hobby into our busy lives between school and work and family. We have our favorites... and some things that should never be mentioned (oh god, why did I buy My Sims Agents).

It's May and everyone is getting ready for the E3 bombshells of the year. On the first episode (pilot if you will) of The Adventures of the Fellowship of Gamnesia, we catch up on all of our backlogs and grab some Wii U games that have dropped in price. We also play some games we shamefully haven't played before, and we learn Brian plays more hours in a day then there are in a week.

For a look into our lives, clickety click on the jump! Don't forget to share your current gaming schedule inside.

It's hard to argue when the facts are staring you in the face, but Alex Plant from GenGame has definitively proven false the general notion that the Wii hurt Nintendo and it's core gaming audience. In fact, it's almost so well defeated as a standing point you could almost argue the Wii actually grew the Nintendo core fanbase. That being said, I'll let them do the talking:

Fundamental to the idea that Wii wasn’t a system for core gamers is the notion that Wii wasn’t a system for core games, either. However, it’s easy to see from Wii’s lineup that this simply isn’t true. In fact, the record shows that Nintendo’s “core” lineup for Wii stands its own against those for Nintendo 64 and GameCube.

In the lineups, which you can see in the original article, the Wii's core lineup from Nintendo alone rivals the core lineup of the GameCube, destroys the lineup of the N64, and arguably is overall stronger in terms of the quality and breadth of the core games. Of course, that is buyt one argument against the grain. Check else was provided to show the Wii's actually grew the base.