E3 2010: And the winner is…

UPDATE: This video (besides having sweet British accents), does a very good job of summing up my feelings towards this year’s E3.

For those of you who don’t know, E3 ( the Electronics Entertainment Expo) is a special convention that occurs once a year.  In it, video game developers show off what they’re currently working on and often let people test them out.  Additionally, E3 is often the place where the major developers first announce products to the mass market.  Some are expected, many are surprises.  Considering all this, E3 is a big deal to the gaming industry.

Well, we are currently on Day Two of this year’s E3, and, after seeing the press conferences, I’m already going to make a prediction – Nintendo will win this E3 in spades.  Now, E3 isn’t technically a competition, but every year, people judge which major company had the best show.  Without even seeing a majority of the Sony Press Conference, I’m willing to tell anyone that Nintendo will win.


The gaming.

You see, E3 is a gamer’s conference about gaming – a fact some of the developers may not have caught on to.  A majority of the Microsoft press conference was spent detailing new hardware and new features without delving much into what it means for games.  Sure, games where shown, but there was no “must-have” game in the lineup.  Instead, Microsoft spent their conference showing their “Response to Wii” (aka: Kinect, also known as Project Natal), which we’ve known about for over a year now.  I will quickly admit that the tech is cool, but it’s not really gaming anymore.  I would venture to say that it’s becoming a different form of entertainment, but not true gaming.  (Here’s a humorous article that talks about the repercussions of Microsoft’s emphasis on Kinect).  Additionally, Microsoft also spent a significant portion of time talking about what the Xbox will soon be able to do besides gaming (yes, the Xbox Slim is nice, but you can’t base a conference on that – it’s only doing what we expect our systems to do nowadays).

Gee, for a gamer’s convention, this certainly doesn’t involve, well, you know, video games.

Sony’s Press Conference (which only started a few minutes ago as I’ve written this article) is set to be all about PlayStation Move and 3D gaming.  Now, I will admit, PlayStation Move sounds like it will work well, but there’s a catch – it’s almost a Wii replica.  We saw all this over four years ago.  3D gaming is new, I’ll give them that, but it seems to me like a gimmick.  How many people are willing to pay for 3DTVs or those uncomfortable glasses?

Nintendo, however, spent their entire press conference focusing entirely on games.  And, wow, were there a lot of them.  Ranging from Kirby, to Donkey Kong, to Metroid, to even a new Kid Icarus, just about every franchise Nintendo owns has a new game coming up.  If there’s one thing Nintendo does well, it knows how to do its franchises.  Some of the games that premiered today were so downright creative, it was amazing just to watch (see Kirby).  Some games brought back some welcome old school gaming that we haven’t seen in decades (see Donkey Kong).  And some games were creative, had a hint of old school, but still brought a lot of new ideas to the table (see Epic Mickey).

And the icing on the cake?  3DS.

Now, as I’ve said above, I’m not into 3D that much.  The glasses are cumbersome, and the technology often gives me a headache.  But, beyond all that, no one utilizes it properly.  It’s the same with motion controls – yes, Microsoft and Sony now have them, but what do they actually bring to the table?  How many developers plan to utilize these new, “optional” peripherals?  The 3DS, which was finally unveiled today, takes both of these criticisms and beats them down.  First, 3DS doesn’t use glasses.  That’s right – it’s 3D without glasses.  And, according to people who were at the show, it works.  This intrigues me.  Additionally, the 3DS already has a huge lineup of games in the works.  Apparently, third party developers are very interested in and already on board with the 3DS (never mind that Nintendo has stated that every major franchise has a game in development for 3DS).

E3 is always an interesting show because you’re never quite sure what you’ll get.  This year’s E3 had a lot of hype going in, and I’m pleased to say that it wasn’t all PR.  After seeing what the industry has to offer, I’m very excited about what Nintendo has up its sleeve.  For me, Nintendo far outshines both Sony and Microsoft, who have spent a majority of this conference detailing projects we’ve all known about for awhile now.


~ by digitallysmitten on June 15, 2010.

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