The E3 Big Three report
Going in line with the press conference order, I will be taking a look at the big three conferences at this years E3, giving my own opinion on what happened both the good and the bad.
Microsoft seem to have woken up to a lack of first party games for their system. This year we are going to see Forza Motorsport 4, Gears of War 3, and Halo HD remake. Also Halo 4 was announced and given a holiday 2012 release window. These interest me personally as I am a fan of all the games mentioned (although Halo is one I have sort of lost interest in recently so maybe the HD remake will rekindle my love of the series).
There was also the news of new internet TV coming to Xbox live as well as Youtube and Bing. These are good to see as it adds to the Xbox experience and puts more under the same console system which is impresive. Also it looks like the Xbox could be used as a DVR which is an interesting idea and one I may get on board with depending on whether a new hard disk comes out and also how much the service costs (assuming it wont be free even for gold members).
Fans were looking for hardcore games with the Xbox Kinect. Microsoft seem to have pushed this but still have not got what I wanted. Mass Effect 3 is one instance, the game looks good and Kinect seems to add a bit, however, a headset would do the same job as what was shown (i.e. telling your team to push forwards, use certain abilities). Ghost Recon adds a bit more to the experience and I could see voice commands working better in that game as it is more tactically focused so just ordering commands rather than having to go to each troop to select what you want them to do may be a great time saver. It just feels like a lot of the games shown feel like Kinect was thrown in rather than something crucial to the experience.
It was disapointing that the new Crytek game appears to be Kinect only. The visuals looked fantastic but if the controls are not up to scratch the game will suffer. A gamepad would have worked much better for that game and it would possibly have sold better given a lack of that type of game on Xbox at the moment.
Alan Wake also not being shown after being talked about before E3 by the studio developing the series is also disapointing. A lack of Xbox Live Arcade titles being pushed also was disapointing, Limbo, Braid, and others are a mainstaple of that service and it seems like Microsoft overlooked Summer of Arcade this year at E3.
Mixed feelings, some great announcements and games I like shown. However Kinect needs work but at least Microsoft seem to be listening. The I.P. TV seems to be a great idea along with Youtube and Bing, but is E3 really the place to talk about multimedia functions?
Sony have got a strong line up for the Playstation Vita in software terms. Uncharted, LittleBig Planet, Modnations Racing and many others. This will help the console with having big name titles on from the off. The price of the system is also lower than originaly anticipated by some (I saw talk of $400-500 on the message boards a few weeks back for instance).
Uncharted 3 was shown again and is looking fantastic, a game I hope to pick up. With the old gang back together again this looks to be another hit (I hope).
More Playstation 3 titles where shown briefly such as Starhawk. God of War Origins HD and ICO HD were announced also.
Sony seemed to push 3D TV a lot again, something that is great if you like that. However personally I feel this is a bad timing as 3D requires a new TV which is frustrating when HD TV's only just got into households. Also I hear from the Giantbombcast that 3D films are not doing so great in the cinema at the moment with Pirates 4 doing better in 2D even though it is being shown on less screens than the 3D version in USA. I do like 3D in the cinema but the glasses can be annoying as my eyes get tired watching through them, so what would this be like for a gaming experience?
A lot of trailers were shown as well or games like God of War being announced, but no gameplay was shown. This disapoints and leaves me in that wierd place of not wanting many PS3 only games again. Starhawk would have been interesting to see but was only a trailer. The Ratchet all 4 one game was not shown again which begs the question is the game still around or even due out soon?
Resistance 3 is another title shown that disapoints as I am not a big fan of the series and this seems to be Sony's second title they are pushing for this winter after Uncharted. Throwing the game in with the 3D TV package and with a Move pack is a good idea but only if you actually like the game in the deal.
Mixed feelings again, Sony got some new exclusives but most didnt appeal to me. Gran Turismo 5 was not discussed for new DLC or expansions etc. Uncharted seems to be the best Playstation exclusive at the moment. Playstation Vita looks interesting but will suffer being to the PS3 as the PSP was to the PS2 (i.e. ports or spin off games, rather than titles that try to really push what the PSV is about).
No Wii vitality sensor! Nintendo gets it together! The start discsuing Zelda 25th year of existance was a good idea. Shiggsy is really a good person to start with as he is very likeable. The good ideas train continued with some big announcements for the 3DS from Nintendo.
Luigi's Mansion 2 was the big game for me as I really like the Gamecube original so this is something that could potentially push me into the 3DS. Mario 3D also looked good and the changes to Mario Kart could make for interesting racing.
The Wii U is an interesting development. This is not what I was expecting but a backwards compatible system is a good move. This allows costs to be saved in using the Wii remote controls and with motion plus it may allow an improved control scheme on games.
The tech demos and third party support is making for an interesting console release some time next year (assuming it will be a winter 2012 release rather than a summer one as the winter window will bring the most sales in for Nintendo at Christmas).
The Zelda 25th year looked like a new Zelda remake of the original game in HD, that would have been a great idea.
Lack of third party support for the 3DS after a big list shown last year, where are the demos and trailers at the Nintendo conference? Also watching the E3 live stage show by Gamespot, there was PSVita games shown and other systems but no 3DS games shown?
The Wii U also may get lazy ports to it as the games shown are all on Xbox 360 and/or Playstation 3 so are developers really going to take advantage of the new set up?
Probably the best of the three manufacturers, the 3DS looks interesting as does the Wii U but neither really are ones I am going to really buy into. However in the neutral aspect a lot of good showings by Nintendo and if they can get the publishers to really push the unique features of the Wii U and the 3DS then I see this console outselling the others yet again.
I am thinking of doing an E3 round up with EA and Ubisoft press reports and games fro m off the floor. Maybe...