This weekend saw thousands of European gamers descend on the German town of Cologne. Over three days the town played host to the number-one European gaming event, Gamescom 2011, giving players the chance to glimpse at the state of things to come.
Sony used the show for a surprise announcement of yet another version of its PlayStation Portable. In order to screw the last few dollars out of the aging handheld platform, the PSP E-1000 is aimed squarely at the budget market. Apart from a distinctively cheap and more plastic-ey look, the new unit also does away with wi-fi (so no more internet or PlayStation Store access). The new unit will retail in the EU for 99 Euro, and in NZ for $179.95.
Activision CEO, Eric Hirshberg, called for publishers to stop using the press to enter into mudslinging contests. During his Gamescom 2011 keynote speech he told the audience, "Recently a competitor of ours was quoted as saying that he wants to see Call of Duty 'rot from the core'. I've been asked countless times to respond to this comment and I've generally chosen not to. My job is to help our incredibly talented, passionate teams to make the best games they can, not to throw insults around at others. But I actually feel this kind of rhetoric is bad for our industry.
"Can you imagine the head of Dreamworks animation coming out with a new movie and going to the press and saying that he wants Toy Story to 'rot from the core'?" he continued. "It's kind of hard to imagine, right?”
(Interesting side note, the whole plot of Dreamworks’ Shrek and Shrek 2 are, in fact, very thinly veiled jabs at the then Disney CEO, Michael Eisner, and the House of Mouse in general ,by former Disney employee, Jeffrey Katzenberg – the ‘K’ in Dreamworks SKG).
Hirshberg was, of course, referring to Activision/EA Games spat over Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3. He probably wasn’t so happy on the inside when he learnt that EA’s Battlefield 3 picked up the show’s ‘Best of Gamescom’ award.
The Gamescom 2011 award winners list in full was:
Best of Gamescom: Battlefield 3
Best Hardware or Hardware Accessories: PlayStation Vita
Best Console Game: FIFA 12
Best Mobile Game: Uncharted: Golden Abyss
Best Online Game: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Best PC Game: Diablo III
Best Browser Game: The Sims Social
Best Family Game: Sesame Street: Once Upon A Monster
It’s not surprising to see the soccer-mad Europeans pick FIFA 12 as the top console game. It is also interesting to see Diablo 3 on the list; hopefully we may one day see the game in shops.