Tag Archives: E3

Pre-E3, LotRO Joy, And Stock Market Commentary

virtual reality
This week the Kitty got a big traffic bump. The blog was quoted on Massively for the second time! So a shout out to Justin (Biobreak) for that.

It’s thoughtful to call attention to the literary blogosphere. I need to search Justin’s sidebar for more blogs, because not nearly enough is on my reader. Anyway, glory for the elves.


Electronic Entertainment Expo 2016 June 12-16


Next week is E3 2016. We can look forward to lots of exciting game news. Sony is looking to steal the show again with a new Playstation version, along with the Playstation VR headset, for which they supposedly have a slew of games made already.

There are some problems with this business plan, of course, starting with the $400 price tag for the headset. We’ll have to see. If Sony knocks this out of the park, they could be dominant for a long time.

Microsoft, meanwhile, is more focused on skeevy ways to force people to upgrade, and even skeevier ways to take control over games on the PC platform.

And maybe some XBOX stuff – while focusing on exclusives, exclusives, and more exclusives, of course.

So I’m liking Sony. I don’t like my failure to buy Sony (SNE) stock last month, since I knew this big surge into E3 would happen. The fact is that games are a small fraction of Sony’s business. It’s better to be in EA, ATVI, or NVDA, or even MSFT, ironically, because Azure (cloud).

So IGN will have livestream coverage of E3. The main E3 event is from 14-16, with press conferences starting on June 12.


Stock Market Commentary


This week Electronic Arts (EA) met resistance in pushing to new all-time highs, while Activision-Blizzard (ATVI) and NVidia (NVDA) are much further down the selloff curve.

People are locking in profits at a possible market top.

I’m up 32% with NVidia in six weeks, so it’s really difficult not to sell here. I’m comforted seeing both NVidia and Activision getting bought up intraday, but both stocks could be rolling over in advance of the market, instead of just taking breathers before another run.

Heavy selling in Activision especially has been countered by strong buying this week, resulting in dragonfly doji candlesticks that are hard to interpret. (Is the chart more at long term top, or more at a short term bottom)?

I think the overall market is “melting up” off the top, based on lack of sellers of underlying stock components. There are too many constructive patterns right now, specifically transports (IYT), small caps, energy, health care, and even Apple. Last week, a horrible jobs number on Friday decreased the expectations of a fed rate hike this month to zero percent, reducing that fear.

If the market can make this break, then subsequent sell-offs this summer will have big underlying support for the S&P index around the current level.

Brexit and the fed remain big potential spoilers in the coming weeks, and that’s an overhead of fear that has people hedging and buying protection at this level. If oil reverses and drops, that’s also a problem. If the dollar reverses and rises, that’s a problem.

In the past week, I’ve been a buyer of Tahoe Resources (TAHO), a gold and silver miner, and Visa (V).


Kitty’s Picks


Today, Visa was called out on CNBC fast money as a top pick. I was a happy kitty, having bought it on Monday. I wanted to buy something that supports the thesis that the market is going off the top, and I like a breakout on Visa.

I also recalled that the Olympic Games are a big time for Visa revenues. Visa is a huge sponsor of the Olympic Games coming in a few months in Rio De Janeiro.

If the market hits the skids with Visa bouncing sharp the other way, I’m back out of Visa. I’m also possibly out of Blizzard. I like Tahoe Resources for Gold and Silver if the U.S. dollar continues in decline. That’s a big topic, and even the professionals today have wildly conflicting ideas and opinions.

I’ve been fascinated with silver since I was a child, and so my online moniker, Silverangel. Unlike gold, silver is an important component in industry, especially solar panels. Solar power is projected to grow enormously in the coming decades.

I’ve been watching the Solar ETF (TAN) very closely as one of the last components of my little long-term portfolio. The chart is forming a very solid, curving bottom, a tanned virtual reality beauty, really.

The problems with TAN? It historically trades with oil (a very complicated topic), and oil is toppy, bolstered right now by geopolitical issues.

TAN in recent months has actually underperformed oil, with solar companies having a slew of problems, including one flirting with bankruptcy (SUNE), and others crushed by egregious protectionist state politics in the U.S. favoring the energy establishment in Arizona and Nevada, for example.

Even solid Chinese solars like Jinko have had disappointing results, despite China’s massive pollution problems, and/or have joined other Chinese companies in requesting delisting in the U.S. to go back to China.

So all of these issues with specific companies are why you buy an ETF like TAN.


Personal


Playing LotRO is not consistent with personal productivity. I know that. So I’m looking at ways to scale back, even as my art and programming return slowly from a near-frozen state. I completed four game scene drawings last weekend, and painted two during the last two nights.

My goal in LotRO was a max level Elf Warden, but the server glitches, packet loss, and high ping are annoying for a class that requires so many key presses with perfect timing. Meanwhile, my Elf Rune-Keeper is ten levels higher and has 21 stat tomes. I don’t know.

And that’s all for this week. Happy gaming, and thanks for reading. I’ll hope to see you virtually at the E3 coverage!


Electronic Arts CEO: “Life Is Better With Video Games”

This afternoon, CNBC interviewed the CEO of Electronic Arts (Andrew Wilson) live from E3. The interview ranged from the new Star Wars: Battlefront game to virtual reality games, which Wilson thinks are years off. Wilson’s punch line for the interview was the following:

“When you play more games, your life gets better and better.”

That just sounds weird to me, not to mention wrong, unless you interpret “better” to mean less sex due more divorces and less dating, which means less babies, which means the world is saved, or at least ecological Armageddon is forestalled a little longer.

To me, it honestly sounded like a slogan for a happy pill. It sounded like someone was pushing addictive happy pills and knew it. That was my reaction to the interview.

Electronic Arts was pushing the new Star Wars: Battlefront game at E3. The clips during the interview looked really good, like an old-school Star Wars: Jedi Knight game brought into the year 2015.

For everyone who ever wished Star Wars: The Old Republic looked better graphically, which is pretty much everyone, we should be looking forward to this game. This is surely the best snow landscape I’ve ever seen.

My only criticism of the Star Wars preview videos is that the ancient, used-a-million-times Star Wars sound effects and music sound a little stale. I hope Disney’s movie productions will come up with something new.


An Early X-Chromosome Scope On E3 News

If you read my blog at all, you know I’m always looking for the female POV in games. I can’t play a male for very long unless he’s a handsome Mafia man. This post is an overview of E3 news from a female point of view, looking mainly at Sony, Microsoft, and Bethesda.

Sony’s opening presentation seemed the most fem-RPG friendly (I didn’t get through all of Nintendo or Microsoft). Sony announced Assassin’s Creed: Liberation for the Vita, which features a non-Caucasian heroine (video). She looks awesome. The mainline Assassin’s Creed 3 for PS3 continues to be a staunch bastion of balls. His name is Connor, if I recall. Are we kitties interested in buying Vitas? Not at all.

Sony also announced the next super-immersive, storytelling-type game by Quantic Dream (makers of Heavy Rain). The title is called Beyond. I was entranced by Heavy Rain and highly impressed by its quality of writing and graphics, which summed to a memorable and unequaled level of immersion on the PS3, so I’m excited by this title. Even better, Ellen Page will be voicing the role of the female protagonist.

I have only two concerns about Beyond. One is the paranormal theme. I wonder if non-realistic cups flying and ghosty things happening will actually pull the player out of the the “Quantic Dream” and make them feel like they are in just another horror game, or will everything combine well to make a whole that is even more amazing? Also, will a female protagonist kill any chance of romance, or will male players be expected to hit up a boyfriend? If this game seriously looks at death and completely neglects the importance of love, then it may fail for me. Still it will be a must-see.

The Microsoft games involved a laundry list of studs and uber-dudes. The dudettes mostly boiled down to iconic girl-games like Tomb Raider (a game on all platforms by the way, so PC and PS3 should be covered) and Fable, The Journey, both of which are supposedly due to release this fall. The new Fable will be more Kinect-centric. I’ve been stalled halfway through Tomb Raider: Underworld for about a year, but I really like the direction Crystal Dynamics is taking this game.

Namely, the devs are (maybe influenced by other games like Uncharted) focusing more on conveying emotion in a survivalist situation, which is great! If the player cares about the protagonist and connects at a human level, then the player actually wants to win/get revenge/etc. Tomb Raider: Underworld doesn’t seem to have that. It has decent adventures and puzzles with beautiful graphics on the PC. The devs assumed that I knew and cared more than I did about the overarching storyline, or maybe they thought climbing rocks and walking tightropes would be enough.

The slow-motion heartbeat effect where you have a split second to take an action also looks kind of thrilling in the new Tomb Raider. E3 video. I’m not so thrilled though about the early announcement of DLC XBOX-exclusive blah blah however–*head explode*. Since my head has now exploded, I have no cerebral matter with which to throw a jab at the bonus-bloated tiers of Riders Of Rohan pre-order packages heretofore announced. Refer to the anti-DLC rap video I posted.

Of the games being previewed at E3, I’m most excited about Elder Scrolls Online. This excitement is not rational. I’ve seen nothing yet that merits giddy vibes. In fact, the Elder Scrolls devs themselves seem suspiciously cautious. Or maybe they seem cautiously suspicious. It’s hard to say. They are describing a simplified skillbar and high level of accessibility, which means that the game is being made mainly to rake fat stacks (of course) and not to cater to serious MMO fans. Massively posted a few new videos and an interview today with Paul Sage.

Skip that first short video. Dear Bethesda video guy, why do you make videos where the start and end credits are 25% of the video?

CAT GIRLS. Do I have your attention? SWTOR is bringing an always-on free trial in July as well as a new Cathar species according to their E3 preview video on Massively. Yes, this is another SWTOR species with the same human body but a different-looking head. Cathar women are known as good slaves, so that could make for interesting (and furry) roleplay. Speaking of roleplay, the HK (“handsome kissable”) assassin droid is already rumored to do gay romance.

I made up that rumor thing–I think. That’s how rumors start, right? Love is better than war, people. Dizzy up that Wookie at the cantina. Too much violence in society.

Peace.

Further Reading:

A closer look at Microsoft’s E3 press conference lineup.
Beyond: Two Souls gameplay video on NUR.
More on the super-simple Elder Scrolls skill bar.