I'm back and enjoying a long weekend, so I decided that it would be fair to revive my little blog over here. What better way to do that than to talk about E3?
I won't be talking about my "games of show" (simply because it's too Nintendo-focused to even matter), but I'd really like to talk about some of the best/ironically enjoyable moments of the conferences conducted by the primary console companies that made their presences known at the expo.
5) "We can go anywhere!"
You've seen the Microsoft conference, you've seen the awkward Kinect demos: Skittles,the river-rafting, Wii- I mean- Kinect Sports. I mean, how much fun were theyhaving, right?
When you pay an innocent little girl to say such classic lines as, "I know you like that... yes, you do." and "OK Skittles, that's enough... that tickles." the only question left to ask is:
Where will you grope your tiger?
4) More Sports Mini-game Compilations
Microsoft has a camera with much technological and theoretical potential. Sony has an upgraded wand technology that enables augmented reality and position tracking. So who, oh who, thought that it was a great idea to rip the Wii off? What kind of technological demonstration are you doing to your product when you're making consumers think that your product is derivative and just slightlysuperior to the Wii? If you're touting your motion controllers as "different", "revolutionary" and "better", then you already failed, because you're acknowledging that Nintendo's original strategy was legitimately a work of genius. But people have wisened up to the somewhat gimmicky feel Nintendo's package offered, and they'll think the same with Move and Kinect.
With all that ranting, why is this a "best moment"?
Considering that I'm a bit of a Nintendo guy (formerly Sony, and I'm admittedly wanting to come back to their side) this moment is kind of a moment of vindication. Nintendo is most definitely influential and the competition is playing catch-up- and to what? Wii Sports.
At some point during Microsoft's and Sony's press conferences, some hardcore Nintendo fanboy was probably cackling his arse off, the former especially.
3) Gabe Newell eating his words
At some point during E3, Valve's Portal 2party was suddenly cancelled. Nobody knew why until Gabe Newell suddenly showed up in Sony's turf- SONY'S- and announced something that everyone was dismissing as speculation: Portal 2for the PS3 would be the definitive console version of the promising-looking game. Also, Steamworksis coming to the PS3, which is actually huge considering that the potential for the ability to play Portal 2and continue with one save through PC, Mac and PS3 is kind of, I don't know, really enticing? Picture it: you bought Portal 2for the PS3 and you can download free copies of the same game for your PC and Mac, then continue everything from the point you stopped. That's awesome; a huge win for the consumer.
2) Kevin Butler
As if Jack Tretton wasn't already a surprisingly good presence in E3 this year, Sony also had the good idea of bringing out their big gun: Kevin Butler.
While he's mostly a PR guy, he's still a great marketer. I mean, he made this speech about games and gamers with his usual deadpan humor, all accompanied with some sarcastically grand music to complete everything! Yes, you could cynically say that he's a fake and doesn't really game all that much, but the way he delivers his lines is convincing enough for people to buy. All the signs of a good marketer, if I ever saw one (excluding Steve Jobs, of course).
He definitely put some spice in Sony's conference, although I don't think my #1 can be beat.
#1) The Nintendo 3DS
You saw this coming from a mile away, admit it. I don't think any reasons are needed to be made, but I still feel the need to justify this choice anyway.
What else can be said about it? It features a 3D enabled top screen (that can be customized as to how much 3D you want it to churn), an all-new slide pad, backward compatibility with DS cartridges, and even 3D cameras. Oh, and it's all a no-glasses affair. True, viewing angles are a legitimate concern, but usually, when playing a handheld, you're still looking directly at the screen anyway, so it's not much of an issue (or at least, it's an issue only preserved for flame wars).
The major part of the 3DS is that it simply restored my faith in Nintendo. I've been losing much faith in Nintendo's offerings lately, and as if the release of Super Mario Galaxy 2wasn't enough (PERFECT 10!), the E3 conference also held many, many epic Wii games that'll release soon. But the 3DS still took much of the cake because of the potential line-up and, yes, third-party support. Hell, even Hideo Kojima wants to make an MGS game here.
Regardless of whether 3D movies are of much concern in such a small screen, this is the way 3D should be introduced to the masses. Without glasses.
Price points and battery life may still alter my otherwise high opinion on this piece of hardware, but the near-Wii/PS2 graphics and glasses-less 3D technology is enough for me to actually make a day-one purchase. This was knocked out of the park, and the advanced announcement months before just made the pleasant surprise that much better.