Review Of The Year 2013: June

June is the best month of the year for many in the video games industry. Loads of developers, publishers, press and retailers get to go to Los Angeles and drink alcohol that someone else has paid for while talking loudly about the industry.

E3 might not be the biggest videogames show for consumers but it is certainly the biggest for publishers, who make their most notable announcements there. The vast interiors of the LA Convention Center are stuffed full of expensive stands, noisy projections and the sweaty, shambling human detritus of the games industry. This year, I was there too.

Depending on who you’re talking to, this can be incredibly enjoyable (Chris from PSNStores, Stew from JAW and Lorne Lanning) or quite irritating (the publishing exec who stood next to me at the Saints Row party talking about Mexicans stealing all the healthcare).

It was a long and uncomfortable flight but that was an opportunity to write some of my own personal favourite articles this year. Once in LA, we were able to spend a couple of days acclimatising and getting prepared for the big stage presentations and the show floor itself. We did that, typically, by drinking enormous margaritas and eating Subway sandwiches.

I should probably also mention that we didn’t get to stay in the fancy hotels around the convention center that everyone else seemed to be luxuriating in. We stayed in a, frankly, dangerous-looking courtyard motel in Filipino town. There wasn’t a breakable object in my room that wasn’t broken. The air conditioning – and praise be to whatever deity might be responsible for that thing existing, by the way – was roughly as noisy as several jet airliners. The bath tub was about a foot deep, it looked like a shower tray that had got ideas above its station. Also, American toilets have way too much water in them. It’s unsettling.

In between dragging Kris away from watching cartoons and walking halfway to Nevada and back every day with Alex, I got to see the most exciting bits first hand. I was at the Microsoft show when they announced their Games with Gold promotion and everyone in the room raised a collective eyebrow. I was at EA for Peter Moore’s stand up routine and a bit of weird basketball-themed slam poetry. I was there for Sony’s pricing announcement and figurative dropping of the microphone. It was a good day.

The show floor itself was an oppressive cacophony of sensory stimulation. Like being at the most cramped funfair in the world but none of the rides move. But we got some good time with plenty of games and we were able to bring you plenty of things to read. We even did a little impromptu video with the DualShock 4 (below) that we shot and uploaded entirely on an iPhone, from the room, like proper guerrilla journalists.

The weather during that week in LA was hot and bright and dry. I think that’s what weather in LA is always like. In the UK, the month started well, but grew cool and unsettled during the week we were in LA before getting nice again towards the end of the month, at least in the south of England, which is the only place that weather really seems to matter to people.

It wasn’t a bad month for new games, as many end of quarter months tend to be. The most notable release in early June was probably Remember Me before the big release of The Last of Us in the middle of the month and Company of Heroes 2 towards the end.

In terms of news, it was probably the busiest month of the year. We launched our weekly news round up video show, Newsdesk in June, after a couple of special episodes to cover E3. That’s still going strong 26 shows later and will return after the Christmas break.

The biggest news was probably the prices being set for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as well as PlayStation Plus’ new role as a paid subscription to online gaming services. At the end of the month, Sony released firmware update 4.45 for the PS3 and then quickly rushed to try and deal with the reports of it bricking consoles before releasing firmware update 4.46 after a few days.

June was also the month that Microsoft spent the entirety of E3 defending all of their proposed unfriendly consumer practices on the Xbox One (which we talked about at length yesterday) before spinning on their heels and taking it all back a couple of weeks later.

5 Comments

  1. I don’t know what time you guys are finishing up today but i’m finishing in 15 mins and will be traveling home then, so Merry Xmas to everyone at TSA and the community!

  2. Not even when the fat lady sings??

  3. LA was amazing. Such happy memories.

  4. This years E3 was the first I ever watched, I was not disappointed.

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