As part of an ongoing series, SPOnG gets the unedited, open and highly informed opinions of developers, producers and more in the vast world of computer games.
For most editors in the games press world, Dan Griliopoulos doesn't need much of an introduction. A seasoned writing veteran, whose credits can be seen on Eurogamer, PC Gamer and Rock Paper Shotgun to name but a few specialist sites, Griliopoulos has always been an advocate of interesting and thought-provoking journalism.
That can be seen in his side project, leading a panel of judges in the peer-selected Games Journalism Prize. The winner of this year's GJP was revealed this week - click here to see who it was and why. But now, here's Dan with his thoughts on console generations, Ouya and E3.
Do you feel that we are entering a new console generation too soon? Or can it not come soon enough? And why?
I don't think it matters, to me as a hardcore gamer anyway. Microsoft doesn't seem to be entering a new console generation as much as an alternate dimension populated entirely by jocks who are happy paying $400 plus monthly subs to watch the same TV (US-only), play moronic barely-changing sports games and use the same apps that they get for free elsewhere.
But then they'll probably have a Sky Sports subscription as well, paying through the nose to maintain their tribal affiliations, so there's no hope for them - Microsoft have crafted the perfect mechanism for draining their disposable income.
For my audience, Sony has a much better idea, replicating the PC market and mid-end hardware, but standardising it and transferring across their franchises. It's a pity for them they have so few franchises to exploit.
Ouya and Oculus Rift have generated a lot of positive buzz. How disruptive do you think these products will be when they are released to the public?
Ouya is dead in the water, as is Project Shield and probably GameStick. No reason to buy them, no buzz and paperweights are much cheaper. Thankfully, they've shown that people can make really top-end Android hardware super-cheap - there's just no reason that it should be anything other than a phone.
Rift is my PC killer app. When you try it you realise that it just works. They're going to have some killer announcements at E3 I'm told and, once people make a few games just for it, it'll make sense. They do, however, need some central discoverability space - hopefully Steam will support them in that. They sent out 12,000 developer kits in January to a huge number of big name guys and everyone I've talked to is excited - though not necessarily going to make a game just for it, which it needs.
How excited are you for E3? What kinds of announcements or showcases would surprise you, as both a developer and as a gamer?
Not really all that excited. E3 is about hardware and software sequels; I love Indie games and they're about one-offs, odd mutants dragging themselves up from fetid bedroom imaginings.
Talking about the big three, I'm sad for Nintendo, happy for Sony, pissed off at MS. If Steam announced the Steam Box with a Half-Life 3 exclusive, that would be amazing - but unlikely. More welcoming would be if Valve publicly curated the indie scene - they do it informally anyway, doing regular meet-ups with the UK and US development scene - but they don't publicly showcase the amazing things coming out on their platform.
Hell, I play a million PC games a year and I'm always surprised by what's coming out on Steam. They need to be more public about how amazing their platform is, before Microsoft copy it again and claim they invented community greenlighting or whatever. They could start doing that with a showcase at E3.
Thanks to Dan for his time.
Industry Insights Series:
Jun 2013: Antti Ilvessuo, RedLynx
Jun 2013: Dominic Matthews, Ninja Theory
Jun 2013: 'Peter Molydeux', Gaming Genius
Jun 2013: Ste Pickford, Zee-3
Jun 2013: Andy Payne, O.B.E.
Jun 2013: Gordon Midwood, Different Tuna
Apr 2013: Nathan Fouts, Mommy's Best Games
Apr 2013: Andrew Smith, Spilt Milk Studios
Apr 2013: Antti Ilvessuo, RedLynx
Apr 2013: Peter Molydeux, Gaming Genius
Apr 2013: Paul Rustchynsky, Evolution Studios
Mar 2013: Gordon Midwood, Different Tuna
Mar 2013: Theo Sanders, Ubisoft Singapore
Mar 2013: Dan Webb, X360A
Mar 2013: Stewart Gilray, Just Add Water / Oddworld Inhabitants
Mar 2013: Alex Neuse, Gaijin Games
Feb 2013: Blazej Krakowiak, Techland
Feb 2013: Gina Jackson, Women in Games Jobs
Feb 2013: Stewart Gilray, Just Add Water & Oddworld Inhabitants
Feb 2013: Dominic Matthews, Ninja Theory
Jan 2013: Dan Webb, X360A
Jan 2013: Antti Ilvessuo, RedLynx
Jan 2013: Andy Payne, O.B.E.
Jan 2013: Gordon Midwood, Different Tuna
Jan 2013: Andrew Smith, Spilt Milk Studios
Jan 2013: Theo Sanders, Ubisoft Singapore
Jan 2013: Paul Rustchynsky, Evolution Studios
Jan 2013: Peter Molydeux, Genius
Jan 2013: Andy Payne O.B.E.
Jan 2013: David Jaffe
Jan 2013: Jon Lander of CCP
Dec 2012: Martyn Brown, InsightforHire
Dec 2012: Steve Lycett, SUMO Digital
Dec 2012: Theo Sanders, Ubisoft Singapore
Dec 2012: Ted Price, CEO Insomniac
Dec 2012: Paul Rustchynsky, Evolution Studios
Dec 2012: Antti Ilvessuo, RedLynx