A $499 price for the Xbox One X encourages console fans to value premium performance, a "Super Mario Odyssey" hat leads fans to question the nature of Mario's existence, and "Spider-Man" differentiates itself from the superhero action genre's standard, the "Batman: Arkham" franchise.
Xbox One X pegs $499 price
Four years after the Xbox One launched, the souped-up Xbox One X arrives and comes in with the same $499 price tag. One key difference is that whereas the Xbox One suffered for being more expensive and marginally underpowered in comparison to its PlayStation 4 rival, the Xbox One X is set to smash the $399 PS4 Pro for power by an order of magnitude if developers choose to go that route.
"Super Mario Odyssey" sparkles, blows minds
Nintendo's new home and portable console, the Switch, appears to be on track for a strong first year, supported by successive releases of "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe," and soon "Splatoon 2." In Holiday 2017, a highly anticipated "Super Mario Odyssey" becomes the high profile system-selling exclusive, featuring a special hat that allows Mario to poltergeist his way into controlling other characters, enemies, and objects. Some fans are even asking themselves whether the real Mario has been a hat all along -- now it's grown tired of manipulating the same moustachioed plumber over and over again for 30 years.
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A surprise media briefing winner
Ubisoft found its form at E3 2017 with a showcase that was perhaps not less ambitious (perhaps overly ambitious) compared to previous presentations, but injected it with moments of relatability as developers were awestruck by their professional heroes, expressed gratitude to their teams, and showed huge relief at years of effort finally paying off.
"Spider-Man" suggests non-lethal approach
With the Sony Pictures movie "Spider-Man: Homecoming" set for a July release, it made sense for Sony's Sucker Punch studio to develop a companion game -- it had, after all, created the mechanically similar city-scaling superhero franchise "inFamous." Instead, it went to Insomniac, whose history with family action series "Ratchet & Clank" may have prepared them for the unusual combative but non-lethal approach being adopted by the "Marvel's Spider-Man," as Spidey works to save civilians and automatically stops bad guys from plummeting to their deaths in combat.