E3: Some thoughts

E3 has come and gone and it was one of the more boring ones that I’ve watched from the videos that were fed to the public across the ‘net. There really wasn’t anything that we weren’t expecting from the convention, though Sony had a surprise or two with pricing for the PS Vita (and a groantastic greeting when they had mentioned AT&T as a carrier).

The biggest surprise for me was the Nintendo Wii U. Aside from the name, the system looks like it’s feeding off of the bigger trends happening elsewhere such as the iPad. I like the idea of being able to flick the picture from the television to a little handheld. The PS Vita is going to be able to do the same thing – though you have to have two copies of the game for that to happen at the advantage of being able to go as far as you want from the PS3.

Still, there’s no idea of what the pricing will be for the Wii U or just what it will exactly be capable of doing. It did drop a buss bomb into everyone’s lap with a thunderous announcement, however, that felt more as if they were putting Sony and Microsoft on notice on where they were going to go.

Microsoft’s conference briefing was solid – they did what they had to by showcasing the Kinect and what they have planned to use it. Though the device had done extremely well in sales, the number of games that make use of it haven’t quite caught up. But not only did they show off a few new titles that would take advantage of the device, they also wowed crowds with the Fun Lab which demo’ed features such as scanning in your own avatar to finger detection which is a pretty big deal – no need for a trigger device if it can see your fingers, or so it goes.

As for the games – the usual announcements. Everyone knows about Modern Warfare 3, Ghost Recon Future Soldier, and Prey 2…shooter sequelitis, though that’s not really the developer’s fault in away. The market is crazy for FPS games, especially if they’re built around their favorite franchises, so profit-minded companies such as Activision that also have stockholders to answer to are always eager to feed that need for good or ill. There was also a new Halo that was announced from 343 Studios under Microsoft to continue Master Chief’s story. Come on, you didn’t see that coming? I’ll bet you and most everyone out there that knows anything about Halo did.

As for RPGs, Skyrim was shown off to private audiences. Risen 2 had a presence, but only with the developers talking up how it was going to be different from the sequel (think pirates). And everyone is already hyped for ME3 for 2012.

Then there was Dragon’s Dogma from Capcom which looks like an old-school action RPG. The Capcom name and the action reminded me of their time with the D&D license in the arcade. Then there was Dragon’s Crown from Vanillaware, the makers of Odin’s Sphere which looks like the same game (great artwork) only now with more characters. And of course, we can’t forget about Dark Souls due out in October.

Metro 2033 is also slated for a sequel – Metro: The Last Light. Sounds good and looks even better, so it’s only a matter of time before we hit the tunnels below Red Square again in search of survivors and fighting tooth and nail against horrors.

Other than that, there wasn’t much else that really drew me out to E3 this time around as it did last year. I actually went last year but this time around, opted to hold back because the show just didn’t seem to offer too much in the way of what would be on the show floor for what I wanted to see – well, unless you were a big Nintendo fan. There were Wii U prototypes on the floor using the controller.

Gamers still win out regardless thanks to all of the titles that are due out. But as for E3 the convention, well, I’m just glad I saved my plane ticket for a few more games instead.

 

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