I guess I'll throw my two cents in on the big three press conferences (sadly I could not watch Microsoft's till the next morning, thus no emblem). What makes my opinion matter? Nothing really, but I am a journalist with significant public relations training, so I go into these things with a different view than some.
Here's a quick break down:
To me, MS had the most "user friendly" conference. If you were watching online, you always got a great view of the action and the game footage always filled the screen. The graphics that accompanied the presentation (MS PowerPoint maybe?) made the conference flow smoothly. While there weren't any huge announcements, MS did a good job of keeping the excitement going by letting the games and MS exclusives speak for themselves. It was nice that many of the trailers and a few of the XBLA games talked about were available to download on Xbox Live immediately following the show. The games for Windows sections was a tad boring, and the Gears of Wars announcement didn't have much thunder left in it, but it was nice to see that PC gamers get some extra content. The overall tone of the press conference was one of excitement and confidence. It seems like MS really believes in their line up.
Pros: great presentation (pacing, flow, visuals), showed a lot of footage of some great games, very user friendly, some amazing exclusives
Cons: no big announcements other than Disney, Halo console is lame
The big N's press conference can be summed up in one word: weak. From a PR stand point, the presentation was terrible. It was filled with Reggie's awkward pauses and pacing. The beginning was filled with too many meaningless stats ("Here's how many old people play the Wii") and instead of games, we watched people play the Wii while news anchors babbled on about it. Unlike the exciting tone of the other two conferences, the Nintendo conference seemed to have a defensive tone. It was as if they were saying, "Hey we're still in this, see look, another Mario game!" I was very disappointed with Nintendo. They have clearly changed the focus of their audience, as many hardcore gamers could care less about Wii Fit, or a DS cook book. Their big announcements were also underwhelming. A new Zapper and Wheel? More games starring Mario and friends? Another Zelda and Metroid game? I'm all for classic characters, but Nintendo needs to get on the ball and start developing some original IP, because Mario and crew are quickly growing stale. I'm also wondering who on earth was fooled by their online presentation. I believe Reggie said something like, "What if we were already online and you just didn't notice?" What!? Oh we noticed. We don't care about Wii channels and friend codes, we want a structured online community, not a place to vote on other Mii's. It's 2007, online functionality should not be a big announcement or an issue, and it was for Nintendo. "Mario Kart will go online!" They shouldn't have to announce that, they should be at the point where the consumer assumes that a game will have online play. As a gamer and journalist I was disappointed with Nintendo.
Pros: the Zapper looks kind of cool.
Cons: boring, awkward presentation, more games starring Mario, Zelda and Metroid, Reggie's lame online cop out, not enough game footage, too many useless stats
Sony's presentation was almost as user friendly as Microsoft's. It would have been just as good, if not better if it wasn't for those four screens, which made it hard for those watching online to see the game footage. The presentation was easy to follow and the new Home system was put to good use. I still think that Home is going to cater to a specific type of gamer. Outside of customizing my avatar, I don't really care about it, but I know my wife will get a kick out of it, so Sony's got that going for them I guess. They were still lacking in the exclusives department, most of the games they showed were multiplatform. The exclusives they do have look pretty good, but I think Sony's problem is the exact opposite of Nintendo's, they don't have a lot of exclusive franchises to lean on and it's hard for people to get excited about new IPs. The new games from Insomniac and Naughty Dog looked fantastic, as did the MGS4 trailer. As for Killzone 2, I'm still a naysayer. Has the public forgotten that the first game was a mediocre shooter? Other than some impressive graphics, what has this game (and series) shown to prove that it can go up against Halo and Call of Duty? Sony had a good show and the conference had a positive tone. It looks like they are really trying to spin themselves out of the bad PR trap they are in.
Pros: Exclusives looked amazing, good flow and pacing to presentation, Home is looking great, the price drop and PSP redesign wasn't surprising but they were still nice, Insomniac and Naughty Dog still remain among the top first party developers of any company, Little Big Planet
Cons: Really Sony? Chewbacca? Didn't give me a reason to care about Killzone, not enough exclusives, I think they tried to say "Blu-Ray" every chance they could
In the end I would put Microsoft in first, Sony in a very close second and Nintendo in a shameful third (sorry Nintendo, but your show sucked).