Review Of The Year 2013: May

May is quite a nice time of year. It’s generally warm, with a few light showers that go away quickly, followed by a comfortable nights. It’s also the time of the year I go back to my old University to reunite with friends and forget the events of the day by indulging in alcohol priced for students.

I played Binary Domain during May too, which is one of the best third person shooters ever created because you fight giant mechs designed to look like animals or huge motorcycles. And almost none of you indulged in it, so the death of that IP is pretty much concrete. Thanks.

There were other releases during May including the beta for Dust 514, which I tried so hard to get into but just couldn’t, Metro: Last Light which is fantastic according to my review, and also Insomniac’s Fuse which sparked out pretty quickly and was forgotten about by everyone. Grid 2 and Resident Evil Revelations on home consoles were the other major releases of May.

By the time May rolled around we already had confirmation of Sony’s PS4, but Microsoft were keeping quiet about their console, at the time nicknamed Durango, which is a weird nonsense word. I haven’t forgotten about Orbis either, which was also a strange one. So there were a bunch of rumours flying around for both next generation machines, coupled with some E3 specific ones too as is the case every year.

There was much anticipation when Microsoft announced that they would be unveiling their new console during May, and what a reveal it was, though perhaps not for the right reasons. First came the reveal of the name, Xbox One, leading to jokes about how the Xbox 1 had been out for over a decade. This was followed by an incredibly detailed look at how TV and apps were a major part of the machine.

Quantum Break and Forza Motorsport 5 were announced in an effort to remind us that this was indeed supposed to resemble a reveal for a games console, and not a fancy TV box, though in a way that appeared half-hearted. However, the announcement of a Halo show being created by Steven Spielberg really caught the attention of TV fans, so the reveal was a success in that regard.

If only Microsoft had left it at that and stayed quiet until E3, but hindsight is 20/20. As a core part of the news team at the time, I think I would have had to fight Tuffcub for scraps if the disaster now known as the One PR Nightmare (at least by me) never played out. Honestly, in my time of writing for TSA I think that period may have been one of the most fun to cover.

Every morning I’d wake up, eat my cereal and see what new problem the company had created for itself. First there was the news that the One hated used games and wouldn’t allow you to play them without paying a fee. I think Microsoft may have gotten confused about games consoles bringing arcades to you without having to put money into a slot there.

Then there was the fact, at the time anyway, that the Xbox One needed the Kinect, which was always listening, to be plugged in at all times, and on top of that had to contact a Microsoft server once every 24 hours before it would let you play any games. I’m surprised they didn’t go with the name Xbox Orwell back then.

There was also the statement by Microsoft engineers that the One wasn’t targeting the highest end graphics, perhaps in an attempt to try and capture the Wii’s market.  Then the news came that Microsoft wouldn’t allow indie developers to self publish their games on the One, showing a complete lack of understanding for the fastest growing game development scene in present time.

GameStop then appeared and said they were still going to sell pre-owned Xbox One games and Microsoft said that was fine as long as the buyer paid full price for the title, in an attempt to make the used games market useless once again. Then there was more news that the Cloud (not those things in the sky) would make the Xbox One 40 times more powerful than if it wasn’t used.

Despite all of this, it was probably Don Mattrick’s statements throughout that really were the cherry on top. Most of those happened in June but May got the first big verbal screw up by him when he said you had to be really backwards if you wanted backwards compatibility.

Meanwhile Sony pretty much sat back and released a few statements in relation to the PS4, almost all in a reaction to the Xbox One’s policies, including Yoshida saying Sony never considered an always online option for the PS4. There was also the #PS4NoDRM Twitter campaign where gamers pleaded with Sony not to go down Microsoft’s route, and Sony responded with employees saying they were very passionate about the campaign.

Sony also announced some new Free To Play and indie titles for the PS4, showing that the company was inclusive of all development styles. There was a hiccup though when Sony said the E3 conference would be viewable on Vita in Europe, which never happened despite how hard I tried to make it work.

All in all May was a very exciting time to be a news writer and a fan of games, or alternatively a member of the NSA.


  1. I’m still 1/2 tempted to get a One just for some of the exclusives coming next year, but the other part of me (sensible side?) Tells me to wait for a price drop…

    • They’ve definitely turned it around since May and I want One too.

    • Considering their initial attitude and how they tried to steamroll their policies through, only changing tack when pre-orders started coming through (or didn’t in this case) I couldn’t get an XB1 for one primary reason – trust.
      Remember how they couldn’t “just flip a switch and turn DRM off”? Then they did? And their constant assertion (even now) that it wasn’t THEIR policies that were wrong it was OUR understanding and attitudes that were wrong?
      Frankly I just don’t trust them, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they built an install base then flipped that switch (you know, the one they couldn’t turn off) back to the on position. Their goal is pretty clear.

      • Going back on their policy changes would just strengthen Sony’s position and kill their brand, whilst I agree with you about ‘trusting’ m$ what you suggest would be brand suicide imo and I can’t see that happening this gen.

      • My sentiments EXACTLY scythegpd.

    • Wait for a price drop and Kinect not to be bundled. Sometime around E3 next year.

      Games like Dead Rising 3, Ryse and Forza 5 look a lot better to me than Sony’s first party lineup which included two average games at best. Having tried to play Shadow Fall as a rental, I actually think it is more of a bad game than average game.

    • Speaking as someone with an Xbox One: don’t get an Xbox One, lol. At least not yet. Currently the OS/UI is laborious, many features are missing, party chat is broken, playing games with friends is a nightmare and there isn’t a single game worth buying the console for.
      I bought the X1 over the PS4 in the end to play Forza and game with my friends. So far I’ve been let down in both regards as Forza is simply an un-finished product and gaming with friends is ridiculously complicated to set up.

  2. Microsoft dug themselves a really deep hole, and it’s amazing they’ve managed to claw their way out of it.

    I still want a ps4 more right now though, there are no games I want coming to the xbox one I won’t be able to play on ps4 or pc.

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  4. The excitement for the new generation of consoles was what grabbed me the most around this time I think. The little dribbles of new info coming through, and yes, you’re right, the running joke that was the MS PR machine stuttering and stumbling.

  5. A decent racing game is sadly missing on the PS4 right now. Forza does look damn good and I can’t see anything other than Drive Club coming to the PS4 soon which isn’t what I want in a driving game. Straight forward racing is what’s needed, Grid, F1 or NFS Unleashed would be awesome!

  6. Following on from the above comments on Microsofts vision of our gaming future, all I can add is that without a main competitor, ie Sony, Microsoft would have us all going down a very costly path. Thank heavens for competition!

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