Just a disclaimer, while at E3, I tried my best to keep an open mind and stay as unbiased as possible. Everyone who knows me knows that I am not the biggest First-Person-Shooter (FPS) fan out there and that I enjoy single-player adventure games the most.
First up was the Microsoft Press Conference at the Wilshire Theater. Unfortunately they could only fit so many people in that venue that they had to open up a satellite live viewing in the J.W Marriot hotel. Of course the most anticipated thing everyone wanted to see from the Xbox 360 was Kinect, formerly “Project Natal”, the handless motion sensing add-on. I was very skeptical about Kinect and how it worked, however I got some hands-on time (pun intended) with it on the Expo show floor and I have to say they it out of the ballpark. Kinect worked like a charm, within a minute I got a scan of my entire body and my digital self was very responsive to my every motion. Other than Kinect with games like Dance Central, my experience with the Microsoft conference was about average. None of the games really appealed to me, they kept throwing more FPS games like Halo Reach (which I admit did look pretty sweet) and Gears of War 3. The only game they showed that actually got me excited was Metal Gear Solid: Rising, as soon as I saw Raiden cut through a wall and enemies in matrix motion I was awed.
I felt that Microsoft didn’t put enough effort into what this event was all about, GAMES. They focused a lot on making the Xbox 360 a “living room entertainment system” such as live chatting with friends and family and on demand ESPN… I guess to distract the media from this they decided to give everyone in the Wilshire Theater a free Xbox 360 Slim, which to be honest isn’t that much slimmer than the original model and I personally don’t think it looked that cool.
Game of the Press Conference: Halo Reach (Xbox Exclusive)
Biggest News of the Press Conference: Kinect
I somehow ended up in the front row of the Nintendo Press conference at the Nokia Theater but waited around an hour for the even to start. I guess I was too persistent to get in. But hey it ended up being worth it.
Nintendo kicked off their show with non-other than a brand new Legend of Zelda game called Skyward Sword. Everyone immediately went crazy for this, graphics wise it looks like a blend of the realistic Twilight Princess with the colorful cel-shaded Wind Waker. Shigeru Miyamoto demonstrated Skyward Sword with the Wii Motion Plus device. He had a bit of infrared interference on stage, but trust me the game played flawlessly on the Expo floor. I feel that Nintendo truly won in the sense of games shown off. They brought back a plethora of franchised characters such as Donkey Kong, Kirby and even Kid Icarus. Nintendo also showed off some great original third party games such as Epic Mickey.
Despite all of these titles, I think the biggest thing Nintendo showed off was the 3DS. I got my hands on one of these and I can honestly say that “I want one”. I haven’t owned any portable gaming system since the Gameboy Advance, but I really want the 3DS. It’s an amazing piece of hardware that makes Nintendo stand out once again as the true innovator of video games.
Game of the Press Conference: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii exclusive)
Biggest News of the Press Conference: Nintendo 3DS
*NOTE* Being one of the first individuals to play The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword in the world, I was interviewed and you can see me @ 1:15 CLICK HERE
Last but not least, Sony was the final major press conference to be seen of E3 2010. Media and industry personnel were treated very nicely to some tasty gourmet finger food, which is always a good thing, by my books.
Sony kicked off their show by giving everyone 3D glasses and showing us a live demonstration of Kill Zone 3 in you guessed it, 3D. I have to say it was pretty awesome visually. The briefing felt like it was dragging on a little until Kevin Butler came out with a very patronizing speech on gaming. Sony also showed off their new motion-controller called Move. They actually had a few good games such as Sorcery and SOCOM. Unlike the Kinect, Sony already has some casual, new, and hardcore games all ready for the Move. We were also shown brand new footage of infamous 2, which I was very excited to see and we saw the return of the Twisted Metal series. Unfortunately I was saddened not to see a new Uncharted title and was even more deeply wounded to not see anything of The Last Guardian. An announcement that Portal 2 is coming to the PS3 is a big win for Sony and very note worthy.
Game of the Press Conference: inFamous 2 (PS3 exclusive)
Biggest News of the Press Conference: Playstation Move
Overall, the E3 Press Conferences were all very well done. It’s always been a dream of mine to attend E3. My final impressions of this years convention was that I feel like Sony and Microsoft are trying a little too hard in playing catch up to Nintendo and their motion sensing success and that they are focusing too much on creating a living room entertainment system rather than paying more attending to the games themselves.
After everything I saw and demoed this year, I feel like Nintendo was the big winner. They had without a doubt the best game lineup and the best new piece of hardware.
I also really enjoyed the atmosphere and environment of the show with all of the over the top booths as seen below.
E3 2011 will take place on June 7-9, 2011 at the L.A Convention Center