E3 2010: The Recap – The Good, The Better And The Best


Every year the E3 Event comes to town and we all expect big things from the big 3 companies: Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony. This year did not disappoint. After their expected conferences, the industry critics like to give their take on who had the most impact at E3. I’d like to start by giving my take on the event:

Microsoft

Microsoft started the E3 event a little early. They hired the performers of Cirque du Soleil to help unveil their new motion camera, Kinect. I watched the event and honestly, it was very impressive. Even though the performers were using Kinect cameras, they were clearly not live demos but nevertheless, it was a good performance.

Jumping over to their press conference, Microsoft started off great, with demos ranging from the new Call of Duty Black Ops, to Halo Reach. There were demos of Kinect games as well as showing off the Kinect dashboard and use of voice recognition and Video Chat.

The biggest surprises from the Microsoft event was the inclusion of ESPN3 on the Xbox 360 which is free for Gold members and also the unveiling of the new Xbox 360. New design and new integrated WiFi.

The Microsoft conference was done well. Many, including myself, were expecting a Hulu announcement on the Xbox 360 but there was no announcement of such. Unlike last year, Microsoft did not have a lot of exclusive games for the Xbox 360 but I suspect the showing of Metal Gear Solid, which has always been a Sony exclusive, helped please some fanboys.

The new Xbox 360 is a welcome change but Microsoft maybe should have put more features in it. No Blu-Ray or announcement of a Blu-Ray standalone player could hurt Microsoft in the future. Microsoft may announce a stand alone player but we’ll have to see.

Also, I would love to have seen a game which was featured in 3D. 3D in the household hasn’t caught as much attention yet but the industry will continue to push and eventually, the price will become acceptable to many consumers. If Microsoft doesn’t have a plan to include 3D games into their Xbox, they may be missing out.

Update:

I did some research and found out that the Xbox 360 is capable of 3D gaming but Microsoft is waiting until the audience gets enough 3D TVs in their home. Smart.

Grade: B

Nintendo

Nintendo, many would say, was the underdog coming into this years E3. Last years E3 to many was a major disappointment. Not enough games and an announcement of Wii Vitality Sensor was not enough to please Nintendo fans. This year, Nintendo did not disappoint.

They came with the big guns. A new Zelda game was announced. Old classics showed up: Donkey Kong, Kirby and even a Wii Exclusive GoldenEye with Daniel Craig were announced.

All in all, it was great showing from Nintendo. The Nintendo 3DS was the icing on the cake for Nintendo. A lot of good impressions are coming from the Nintendo 3DS.

The only thing missing from Nintendo’s conference was the Vitality Sensor. A lot of people expected Nintendo to finally explain what the Vitality sensor does but sadly it was a no show.

Also, some analysts expected Nintendo to unveil a new Wii console with better graphics and hardware but there was no such announcement or showing.

Grade: A

Sony

Sony was the last up and they also delivered a solid conference. The announcement and showing of Crysis 2, Killzone 3 and Twisted Metal were great. Sony also pushed with more 3D games. Killzone and Crysis were shown in 3D as well as some other favorites.

Sony also showed off their Move controller. In my opinion, I think the Playstation Move is what Nintendo should have brought out. The way I see it, Sony stands in the perfect position to steal some of the Nintendo Wii audience. The Playstation has 3d games, a Blu-Ray player and now a motion controller which somewhat mimics the Wii but has better graphics.

The announcement of Portal 2 as well as Twisted Metal made a lot of fans happy.

Playstation Plus, which is Sony’s new subscription service, was met with mixed reaction. If Sony delivers some quality products from this service, it will do well but for now, the jury’s out on this.

There’s not a lot of criticism you can take from Sony. All the game’s looked great and Gran Turismo 5 finally got a release date. Some people expected a showing of the Last Guardian and most importantly, Resistance 3 but they were no shows.

Also, we all expected a new PSP this year. The PSP Go many have said, is basically a disappointment. It was priced too high and didn’t offer anything new. The lack of a PSP2 was somewhat a  disappointment to fans.

Grade: B+

So the question might be: Who really won E3 this year?

It’s hard to say. Microsoft’s conference had some great games. The Kinect definitely has a lot of potential. The ability to select items on screen as well as use your voice definitely give it a “Minority Report” feel. The games will have to show up though.

Nintendo had a strong showing with their old classics like Donkey Kong and Kirby. The Nintendo was definitely the star of the show.

Sony themselves were solid with 3D games and their Move controller.

I think the big 3 all had great conferences and it is really hard to differentiate what all 3 did.

If I had to give one company the 1st place prize, I think you have to give it to Nintendo. They didn’t do well last year, and their expectations were somewhat low this year. The Nintendo 3DS was the highlight and the fact that they have Goldeneye as a Wii exclusive really gives the edge.

In the all, regardless of who you think won, you have to say the consumer will always get the last laugh.

If you own all 3 systems, Christmas has come early for you.

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