My E3 2012 predictions, part 1

Microsoft's press conference starts in less than 2 hours. This is what I predict will happen.

The crowd takes their seat, their minds full of wonder. What are they going to show this year? Will it be the next XBOX? A handheld XBOX device? Maybe. As the time draws near the lights dim before switching off completely. The room is pitch black. The crowd waits, wondering if there has been a technical fault. There hasn't. The whispering amongst those in attendance is suddenly silenced. Silenced by the opening bars of Limp Bizkit's 'Gold Cobra'. The song continues for approximately 68 seconds. As Durst says "I'll tell ya something else you can take it to the bank" fireworks start popping on stage. One of the fireworks lights a ring of green flames. At this point the crowd is overwhelmed with what is happening at this rapid pace. Before they can notice ramps on each side of the ring of flame a lone mountain biker takes to the stage and jumps through the ring, tapping the top of it with his hand - not unlike a teenager proving his height by touching the top of a doorframe. As the rider makes contact with the ring his arm, and quite quickly, the rest of his body ignite.

He lands flawlessly as the song exclaims "I don't give a fuck what none of y'all people think" and skids to a halt. Fire extinguishers dousing the rider are disguised by a smoke machine. He walks calmly to the centre of the stage as the smoke clears. Shrouded in smoke this mystery rider removes his helmet. Green lights are pulsing behind him as Gold Cobra blasts through the building's speaker system - upgraded especially for this event. The crowd still doesn't know what is going on. This is pandemonium. What does this mean? Who is this man?

As the smoke clears the lights are once again turned off. The music is silenced. Suddenly a lone spotlight shines on the man (who has his back turned) and we hear a familiar tone - the XBOX 360 startup sound. He removes his helmet and turns as the sound plays. The crowd erupts when the man is revealed to be one J Allard.

Off to a roaring start he proclaims this to be the year of 4. It's been 2 years since he left Microsoft. 2 is half of 4. He has 4 women waiting for him in 4 limousines. He owns 4 of everything. He sculled 4 energy drinks before taking to the stage. He stands back before breathing fire above the heads of the audience.

He announces the following games.

  • Halo 4
  • Gears of 4
  • Fable 4
  • Midtown Madness 4
  • Rock Band 4
  • Unreal 4nament
  • 4llout
  • Call of Duty: Modern 4fare
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 4
  • Fourza Horizons

As he announces these games he declares himself "done". He mounts his bike and rides off (without a helmet). The crowd doesn't know what they have witnessed, nor how to react. Before they can get their bearings Don "the man who made Stunts" Mattrick takes the stage and calms them with a slew of shitty Kinect games, a cover-based shooter based on a new IP, and a new RPG game which nobody will care about. After some terrible jokes about that zany new Kickstarter website we're treated to a video montage of people leaping around their loungerooms playing a Kinect game and using social networking applications on their consoles, all the while grinning as if they've had a botched facelift. They also show off XBOX Live integration with tablets running Windows 8. Tablets that nobody will buy because what's the point when iPads and literally hundreds of different tablets running Android exist? At this point the audience is asleep. Not for long.

Before the conference is over its declared some brand new hardware will be announced. The crowd erupts. This has to be the new XBOX. The one they said they weren't going to talk about. There hasn't been any press leaks. Nobody has seen it. The atmosphere is intense. As the presenter staggers the announcement with unnecessary pauses everyone is silent. His lips start to move. "Today we're proud to present..........................". Everyone has stopped breathing. He opens his mouth to finish the sentence. ".......a new limited edition XBOX 360 package".

The collective groan that follows shakes the building's foundations. Before the audience can become even more restless the crowd is thanked and told to "keep on gaming". Nickelback plays as he walks off stage and the lights are lit up.

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Giant Bomb & Gamespot. Why this is a good thing.

At this point it seems most GB users know that Whiskey Media was sold. Screened, Tested & Anime Vice have gone to BermanBraun. If I'm honest though I very rarely visit those sites - I'm all about GB. Sadly I've seen a lot of people saying stuff along the lines of "giantbomb is dead" or "gb sold out". Those things couldn't be further than the truth and frankly its a little disappointing to me that the GB community would be so quick to complain without learning some facts. Then again, internet.

Now for some bullet points. This must mean these are facts, right?

  • Jeff was fired by idiots. Corporate idiots who didn't really give a shit about honest opinions because they were too busy worrying about revenue.
  • Those idiots are no longer at Gamespot. I wouldn't be surprised if 95% of the management team & corporate board they had back then has "moved on".
  • GB is not becoming GS. This means that it will be the same site. You'll get the same content, same reviews, same personalities, same chilli recipes.
  • All of Whiskey Media was sold. In this situation I think going to the people who own GS was the best thing to do. If not them then who, IGN? Gawker? Or perhaps another WM style startup? Or maybe they could have just given up. When you look at those options CBSI was the only way to go.

Another fact is that Jeff joined GS in 1996 when it was a small independent company. One could say that it wouldn't exist in its current form if it weren't for the likes of him. He put in a solid 11 years before being let go. That must have stung like a bitch. Especially since it wasn't really about his performance, at least not that I could see. When you get fired they always say something like "Sorry but you're not quite going in our direction". Sometimes that's code for "I personally don't like you and have the power to fire you so I am doing that". Not saying that happened but back then GS was the site I went to for reviews and for the most part they were high quality reviews so IMO he was doing his job well.

The bottom line is I trust that Jeff, Ryan, Vinny, Brad, Dave and the rest of the crew know what they're doing. Hell, look at what they accomplished with GB in the span of 3 and a bit years. They built this site and this community from the ground up. Now they're taking it on to bigger & better things.

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