E3 2015 may be nearly over but there’s no shortage of questions we have based on what Microsoft, Sony, Bethesda and so on showcased. There are a select number of questions on our minds however in terms of what we’ve seen. Is it all a little too good to be true? Can we allow for a healthy bit of skepticism or is all lost? Here are our top 5 questions from E3 that need answering, hopefully sooner rather than later.
What’s really the deal with Shenmue 3?
Like many fans around the world, we were shocked when Sony announced Shenmue 3…or at least, the Kickstarter campaign for the same. And while it’s managed to cruise past $3 million in funding, shattering its original $2 million goal, the overall idea of the Kickstarter was odd. Is Sony not funding the game? As it turns out, the publisher is and it confirmed that it was partnering with Ys Net to finish the game. However, it also stated that Shenmue 3 would be run through third-party production.
If that weren’t enough, creator Yu Suzuki confirmed that other platforms haven’t been decided, so there’s still a possibility it heads to Xbox One. It’s all rather long-winded but it makes us believe that Sony is essentially offering resources in exchange for timed exclusivity. If that were the case, was the Kickstarter simply a means to gauge public response and enthusiasm? Where is the money actually going in such a scenario?
Whatever the case may be, at least Shenmue 3 is real, right? Speaking of real…
HoloLens: Real or elaborately staged?
If you weren’t at least marginally impressed by Minecraft running on HoloLens, we don’t know what to tell you. From the very idea of having a 3D hologram of one’s world to play around with on a table to modifying, zooming in and viewing finer details seamlessly, HoloLens had us very excited for the potential future of mixed reality technology.
It was also a stand-out case when you consider Microsoft’s bad luck with gimmicks in the past. Kinect of course comes to mind and you really have to wonder how much of the E3 2015 stage demo for HoloLens was actually real. It’s not all that impossible that what we saw on camera was pre-created while the actual person wearing HoloLens simply “acted out” the motions.
The best way for Microsoft to alleviate concerns is to allow HoloLens to be used by the public. However, such a public demo will now be subject to the bar that the E3 stage demo has set. For Microsoft’s sake, we hope HoloLens can measure up.
What the hell, EA?
A more pressing question this year concerns Electronic Arts’ penchant for horrible E3 press events. Last year was chockfull of vague announcements and behind the scenes footage. While this year saw official announcements, gameplay and in-engine footage, EA still committed the same stupid mistake: Devoting too little time to its big releases and too much time to its sports titles.
Sure, Madden NFL 25 and FIFA 16 will be big revenue earners for the company. However, the millions of consumers who pick up FIFA each year won’t pay money based on what they’ve seen at E3 or on the basis of how well the Pele interview went. They pick up FIFA each year and will continue to do so. Moderate presentation would have been great but EA just had to go overboard with its sports titles.
Let’s not even talk about the time wasted on Minions Paradise. Or about that god-awful man in a zombie costume coming out to Danger Zone, which will forever haunt my memories of the song. For the second year in a row, EA makes it seem like a struggle to present a good E3 show despite having so many great games.
The Division suffers another visual downgrade?
Tom Clancy’s The Division made a strong impact at last year’s E3 with its gameplay. While this year’s showing divided many a fan with the Dark Zone – especially since you could effectively betray your team-mates and steal their loot – many could agree that the visuals didn’t look quite as good this time around.
On the surface, it sort of makes sense. The Division suffered another delay from Autumn 2015 to March 2016 and given the MMO nature of the game, it wouldn’t be remiss for Ubisoft Massive to cut some corners to ensure strong connectivity and performance. Other questions do arise as to the consequences this may have – will the overall scale of the game be compromised? What other features had to be toned down for the final release? Did Ubisoft bite off more than it could chew with initial footage from The Division?
Or will the situation be similar to The Witcher 3 which retained its massive scale while still looking great? We’ll find out next year but suffice to say that we’re remaining skeptical.
When will Final Fantasy VII PS4 really be out?
Final Fantasy VII, remade for the PlayStation 4 at last. Or least, coming first to the PS4. It’s a given that we were impressed but Square Enix has never had any trouble impressing us.
Instead, it’s been having big trouble delivering on its current gen projects in time. Final Fantasy 15 is the most famous example, having been unveiled in 2006 as Versus XIII and still currently without a release date on PS4 and Xbox One. Kingdom Hearts 3 had been rumoured for a long time before its final reveal at E3 2014. A year later and we’re no closer to an actual release date.
It also doesn’t help that Tetsuya Nomura is sharing directorial duties between Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy VII. If you’ll recall, Nomura had to be taken off of FF15 due to the workload and the sheer amount of time it spent in development.
We’re pretty sure that Square Enix will fast track development of Final Fantasy VII. After all, it has a far bigger following than either KH3 or FF15. However, at this stage, it needs to move fast and actually prove that it’s working towards a release date, rather than treading water.