Editorial: I GDC a good E3

Okay so that title is terrible, but sometimes I can’t resist.

GDC is wrapping up, and for a show that is supposed to be focused on developers, it can house some pretty important announcements for us gamers. For example, LittleBigPlanet was shown off in 2007 which started to shift a generally negative view of Sony’s Playstation 3 at the time.

So what of this year’s GDC? With the radical fluxuation of E3 the past few years, I feel like people have started looking to other conventions for the large announcements that E3 used to promise. How did GDC hold up this year under that pressure? Perfectly, I’d say. It played the part of announcements that pertain to game development while giving, in my opinion, promise of the best E3 in years.

This is the service that everybody is talking about. I won’t go too far into it as Oliver is going to tackle that tomorrow, but the reactions have been radical. People are saying this “cloud” service that only requires a good internet connection to play any game will change the face of the industry. Since the servers will be handling the  
processing, upgrading your PC, or buying a new console every 5 years will be history.
I don’t feel that way in the slightest as I prefer to own my own media (either as a disk, or downloaded) instead of essentially renting it (even in the long term). I’d prefer to not have to necessarily rely on the stability of my internet connection or the stabily of the OnLive service to play a game. It’s a good idea, and I think it has a place, but I hardly think it will take over the industry.

Wii Menu 4.0 – 
This is the best update to come out of GDC. The announcement is about, let’s say two years too 
late, but it is definitely welcomed. This update finally allows the user to load games fresh off the SD card. The SD menu has its own set of “channel” pages, and the update even allows the system to automatically rearrange titles so there’s enough space on your console to stream your selected title. To top it all off, you can download a Virtual Console title directly to your SD card from the Wii Shop Channel. This means that Nintendo will likely start releasing N64 games for the service again. It might also encourage developers to work on more robust WiiWare titles.

So fresh, there is no official image yet.
So fresh, there is no official image yet.



The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks – 
much the only non-expected game announcement. I’m skeptical of the “Zelda on rails” concept, but I was a big fan of Phantom Hourglass, so I’m excited. But it didn’t disappoint me that this was the biggest game announcement of the convention. In fact, this excited me.

It seems as though developers are putting faith in E3 once again. Nintendo, while usually tight-lipped, is being more secretive than usual, and more developer-relevant announcements were focused on. Which is great for GDC, in my opinion. That show should never become the spectacle E3 once was.
When you think about it, only Sony is known to have  great titles  coming out this year. Perhaps I’m being optimistic, but I think both Microsoft and Nintendo are waiting until early June to start their hype trains. Who knows, maybe Sony still has tricks up its sleeve and will unveil the next Team ICO project this year. Maybe it will be farther along than expected; it has been four years, the same amount of time between ICO and  Shadow of the Colossus.

But what do you think? Were you content with GDC this year? Do you think I’m setting myself up for disappointment for this year’s E3? Riddles will be talking about OnLive tomorrow, so perhaps save your opinion on that until then.
See you next week!


  1. Onlive is just NOT going to work. Hardcore gamers aren’t going to accept being capped at 720p, especially the PC crowd, and we still don’t know what constitutes a “good” connection. Lag is an issue on LCD tvs hooked directly to the hardware – this is going to be a DISASTER.

    Zelda rehash – I’m firmly meh on this. Doesn’t look like it’s going to be anything other than beating on the giblets of a dead horse, which seems to be Nintendo’s only real skill.

  2. Yeah I’m not incredibly optimistic about the service either. In my experience part of being a PC gamer is the elitist bragging over the power of your gaming rig, the last thing they want is a standardized experience. IMO this service would be better accepted on the consoles.

  3. Onlive is doomed to failure in the present. Maybe with technology twenty years from the future they could pull it off, but not today. And frankly, I’d prefer for my games library to be tangible, on-hand–not ephemeral and dependent upon my internet connexion.

    And what about the REST of the world? What about places where the internet is spotty or subpar? What about them? Consoles exist in darkest Tennessee. The internet, however, does not.

    Zelda rehash, MC said it all. I’ve no need to add to it.

    Best announcement from GDC was the long overdue Wii update. Finally, something from GDC that I can immediately sink my teeth into–rather than announcements of something that one day will maybe be made and possibly released on a console that might exist, perhaps.

  4. It couldn’t work in Australia. We had a conservative government for the last decade who were ideologically opposed to using public funds to fund public infrastructure, in the naive beleif that if you leave it, the free market will sort it out. Subsequently we are probably generations behind in internet access.

  5. Noob – The US has the same problem. Major metropolitan cities like Miami here have the infrastructure – though not at the speeds Onlive needs – but as Lusipurr says, the darker reaches of America are lucky to have dialup, because private companies don’t view it as profitable to offer broadband in these places.

  6. My mobile broadband (I say broadband laughingly because there’s nothing broad about it’s perfomance) only functions in major cities, when I go home for the holidays I’m stuck using stoneage dial-up.

  7. Bah-ha, I love that I was all like “save your OnLive comments until tomorrow!”, and there are mostly OnLive comments! But I can’t blame you guys, it’s a hot topic.
    And like my article said, Lusipurr, I agree that Nintendo’s SD menu was the best announcement of the show. I have yet to try it out, but I bought my first SD card yesterday because of it.