Edge of Sanity - E3 Conspiracy Theories

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Edge of Sanity - E3 Conspiracy Theories

Postby Edge Damodred » Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:11 pm

E3, that wonderful time of year when "the big three" get together to see who can give their competition a better a hand job. A long time ago, before the internet was everyone's primary source of information E3 used to be 'the gaming new event of the year'. But as time has gone on and the spread of information has grown this venue tries in vain to screech for relevance. And unfortunately the big console manufacturers still answer that call. And we all pay attention, holding out hope that we will once again be amazed...but ultimately leave disappointed. However this does not mean we can not have fun with it and make crazy predictions about what may happen. So here are a few I've come up with based on either the knowledge that's been released and my own sick twisted view of the world(which has greatly been shaped by you fuckers on the internet!). Keep in mind I don't believe any of these actually come true nor do I wish certain ones to be true at any point. This is merely a silly tin foil hat look at things, except without all the alarmist nonsense...mostly.

1. Sony and Microsoft form a single entertainment entity.

So Sony is really considering breaking up the company and Microsoft's Windows 8 has not been the success they hoped it would be. On top of that there is a rather significant segment of the the gaming population that would like to see an end to the console wars and see Sony and Microsoft work together, if for nothing less than to see a reduction in the mudslinging PR pieces on gaming sites. So the potential for something along these lines is there.

But there is something more. From a hardware perspective the PS4 and XBox One are very very similar. Both use AMD's new Jaguar based APU(CPU and GPU on one chip), both use the same amount of RAM, though the PS4 uses GDD5 versus the One's DDR3. And even though we've only seen a blurry vision of the PS4 while we have seen completely what the One looks like, we do know that they are the same color(though to be fair we see the Ps4 hopefully standing vertically versus the One's horizontal emphasis).

Now we need to look at their respective conferences. Sony's was all about the games and sharing the games with your friends. While the standard internet services like voice chat and video services were there, it was not the focus of the presentation. Contrast that with Microsoft presentation which was all about the living room and other forms of entertainment. They only talked a small bit about games, mentioning mostly the guaranteed sellers that will come out on the system.

To recap we have two companies not doing as well as they hoped, both with fans that are sick of the this stupid rivalry, basically the same hardware with one focusing on one end of the video entertainment spectrum and one on the other end. Merging these two entities together could be a major win-win for both as they would have all bases covered. The Sony side would take care of promoting the games portion of the device family and the Microsoft side would be in charge of the TV stuff.

Will this ever happen...HELL NO!(at least we hope not).

We do not want the two biggest names in gaming to become a behemoth that squashes all competition. Microsoft was accused of something similar years ago and we had to endure story after story about that issue for months on end. I personally am not up to seeing a video entertainment version of the O.J. trial media circus. We have enough to complain about on the internet, some of it that is actually important(though we tend to bury that under cat videos).

2. SteamBox4!

So...going back to that hardware thing. These are the second and third consoles to use the x86 processor architecture(the original XBox released in 2001 being the first). For those of you not of the Glorius PC Gaming Master Race the x86 architecture has been the dominant processor type used in PCs for the last few decades. Consoles and other dedicated devices tended to use very custom tailored hardware to achieve their ends as the x86 is a very general style of processor. With consoles now using the same processor type it "should" be much easier to make "Portable" code between them and PC's.

Where does Steam Box enter into this? Basically it has been revealed that the console is not really a single console, but a family of consoles that would use some kind of rating/categoring system to denote what games on Steam could run on them. On top of that it is natively going to run a Linux based OS, which Sony has been doing with the PlayStation consoles for a while now. But can also have Windows installed on it, which the new XBox One already has on it. Valve wants this to be a closed hardware platform(which both consoles already offer), but want an open software platform(which Sony seems to be fully behind, Microsoft...well at least was open to the idea with XBLIG. Getting straight answers from MS has been a challenge lately).

Need more convincing? While Valve had a rocky relationship with Sony to begin with(first off handing the PS2 port of Half-Life off to someone else, and then there was Gabe shooting his mouth off about the PS3), lately Valve and Sony have been working closely together. They brought the Steam platform over to the PS3 and have worked together on not only bringing Portal 2 over, but Counter-Strike: Global Offensive as well. The roots with Microsoft go deep as the original founding members of Valve worked at Microsoft before starting the company. Plus they have been directly in charge of porting all Valve titles to all XBox platforms, including Half-Life 2 for the original XBox.

So think of this, with your new shiny PS4 or One on launch you could have access to a huge back catalog of games that were never even available on either Sony or Microsoft's platforms! Is this a good thing? HELL YES! While it is not backwards compatibility by any stretch, it still does give a tremendous launch library to both platforms.

The only caveat in this is just how high of a Steam category would these devices support. While it is using basically PC hardware it still is very much in a console configuration and the games on Steam are optimized(supposedly) for a PC's configuration. On top of that the AMD processor going into these machines was initially designed for notebooks and potentially even smaller mobile devices so what kind of power they can get out of it remains to be seen.

3. Apple unveils iSteve Cyborg!

Okay so I have no basis for this one whatsoever. In fact the only evidence that I can use that Apple would make a huge announcement at E3 is that they keep sort of stating they want to enter the console market. Still if there is anything that could make E3 relevant again it would be unveiling cyborgs. Though I'm not sure smooth shiny white cyborgs with touch screens is what we had in mind...Then again some of those Apple fanboys are really weird.
When in doubt, hit it with a bigger hammer.
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