Gaming Trends for 2011 on WTAM 1100

WTAM 1100 – Geek Squad – Gaming Trends for 2011

Considering that video games generate nearly as much revenue as blockbuster movies these days, it’s easy to see why there was so much buzz going on about what the big 3 names (Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft) were planning for the next year.

Earlier in the month, over 45,000 gaming industry and media members flocked to the Los Angeles Convention center for the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3. Best Buy and the Geek Squad were there with our take on all the gaming announcements.

I had a chance to speak to Bill Wills about the gaming trends I’m seeing for the rest of the year on today’s WTAM 1100’s Wills & Snyder radio show.

Geeking Out at E3 2011

Loud. Bright. In your face. This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, was another huge show for the gaming industry to show off their upcoming videogame releases, and they pulled out all the stops to get you to pay attention to their giant booth displays.

I had a chance to walk through the chaos this year thanks to the Best Buy On team, and wow, was I glad I got to go and see the spectacle. I was there to provide a Geek Squad Agent (and regular geek) perspective on everything we saw, as well as roaming shutterbug for the team. You can see some of the photos I took on the Best Buy On E3 Flickr page.

Personally, I came away looking forward to more gaming titles that I expected, including Battlefield 3 and Batman: Arkham City. Now I have to go clear some time on my calendar and start saving up for when they get released later this year.

Gaming Like it’s 1999

There’s a thread going on the QuatertoThree games forum about “PC games that are a decade old this year.”

1999 was a strong year for PC games, as evidenced by this short list compiled in the thread:

  • Counterstrike
  • Everquest
  • Freespace 2
  • Jane’s F/A-18
  • Jane’s USAF
  • Planescape: Torment
  • Quake III
  • SWAT 3
  • Starfleet Command (I & II)
  • System Shock 2
  • Team Fortress Classic
  • Tony Hawk
  • Unreal Tournament
  • X-Wing Alliance

There are plenty of memories for PC gamers in that list. Unreal Tournament was a personal favorite of mine, as it was something of an underdog before release. Most of the gaming community thought id Software’s Quake III Arena was going to completely dominate the online multiplayer FPS market that year, but Epic Games really surprised a lot of people by having so many unique (read: non-deathmatch) game types available for online play.

It was also a time where 3D graphics cards blossomed as Nvidia and ATI finally took the market from 3dfx. The Voodoo line of cards were eyeopeners when they first appeared, but the company just didn’t keep up with the changing demands of the industry. At the least, I was happy to see their proprietary Glide API lose ground to Direct3D and OpenGL.

Yes, it was a very good year for PC gamers.