Thursday, 17 June 2010

General Update 01: E3 Presentations

So this week has been fairly busy on the gaming news circuit with the Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as E3. This is where the 3 big companies, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, are given a platform to show off/announce what they are going to be bringing us over the next year. I have watched all three of the presentations and I’m going to give a quick round up of the them and then give a summary of who I thought were the winners.


Microsoft got the ball rolling on the Monday morning starting with a game play demo of Call of Duty: Black Ops, which did look very smooth. This was followed by Metal Gear Solid: Rising which again looked very good as well. Gear of War 3 and Fable 3 also got a showing but the majority of the time was spent showing off Kinect. Most of the games shown for Kinect were those aimed at the casual gamer as well as those to be in competition with the Wii. They rounded up the announcement with the new look 360, the shiny black facia along with the touch effect buttons, a 250 gig hard drive and built in wireless router. It was also announced that the new Xbox was shipping that day and would be available in shops by the end of the week (for America). It would also be priced the same as the existing 360.

My main criticism with the Microsoft presentation was that its biggest segment, Kinect, was spent introducing the hardware and appealing it to families and children as well as the casual gamers. I want to know how the more hardcore games are going to make use of the technology. I’m not sold on the Kinect yet as I’m going to need more than just repackaged HD versions of Wii titles.


Next up on the Tuesday morning was Nintendo’s presentation. The biggest announcement was the Nintendo 3DS, which is the latest addition to the DS family. What makes this stand out more than the previous iterations was the fact that the top screen will use 3D without the need for the stupid glasses. They also announced a lot of new games for the Wii. For example Donkey Kong Country returns, the legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Metroid M and Epic Mickey as well as a few new DS games like Golden Sun and Dragon Quest. They also announced a remake of Goldeneye, being a gamer I know that this was one of the major games that took multiplayer and helped to make it a big deal, however, I have a guilty confession. I’ve only played it once, at a friend’s house party, unfortunately the only thing I actually remember from that party was a new carpet and some very red squash.


Last but not least was the Sony Presentation. Sony opened with the announcement of 3D gaming as well as mentioning some titles that will be available from launch, Tiger Wood’s 2011, Killzone 3 and Gran Tourismo 5, however you will need to have a 3D tv as well as the silly glasses. Their next announcement was for their motion controller, the Playstation Move. They announced quite a few games for it and then proceeded to show a few of them as well, again Tiger Woods got a mention as well a game called Sorcery and it was also revealed that Move would ship in September. They then went on to announce a couple of exclusive deals with EA, Medal of Honor and Dead Space 2. These special editions would include re-mastered versions of previous games, Medal of Honor:Frontline and Dead Space:Extraction, along with Move functionality for Dead Space:Extraction. After this there were some announcements for the PSP, a new God of War game was teased as well. Their final reveal was for a game called Twisted Metal, which has been on each of the 2 previous Playstations; however I can’t recall ever hearing about it.

I did have a criticism about the Sony presentation and that was that they lowered themselves to having a dig at Microsoft when I didn’t feel it was necessary.


So to sum up it was a fairly underwhelming E3 this year the biggest reveal of the new Xbox was ruined by a leak the week before. If did feel to me as if Microsoft were complacent with what they had for their current hardcore fan base and were focusing on bringing new and casual gamers into the fold. Sony only seemed focused on trying to get 3D gaming and Move into everything they could but did have more in the way of games for hardcore gamers but my winner of E3 this year was Nintendo. They didn’t feel the need to insult anyone; they had a good line up of games and a good step forward in the hardware department with this 3DS.

So later on this year, in October, is the Eurogamer Expo in London. I am looking at making the trip to London and have a look around the booths. At the moment the line up hasn’t been revealed but I’m hoping that the Nintendo 3DS will be on display as I really want to see how well the 3D screen works. I’d also like to have a look and see just how well both Move and Kinect work. Now that E3 is over for another year I’m hoping that a line up will be revealed for Eurogamer Expo, E2UK. I’ll write a post closer to the time about what I will be looking forward to trying and seeing.

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