E3 is such a huge event. It's hard, if not impossible, to get a look at everything. In a way I think that is a good thing because it allows everyone to see things they are interested in and come away with a unique point of view. For example, RGB fans this year will be excited to see the latest on Mass Effect 3 and Dungeon Siege 3 while the hopeful Nintendo 3DS fan will be excited there are some major titles in the foreseeable future. After processing all the content we could handle, Zoidberger and I are going to recap E3 2011: What we know now. Read on.
ANOTHERDAE: Jumping right in, what games were you excited to see more of? I know I was psyched to see more of the major titles that have been on our radar for a while now. Then there were some others I was happy to see more of Tomb Raider, X-Men Destiny and even Kirby Wii.
ZOIDBERGER: As a huge fan of the original, I was looking forward to any news about Batman: Arkham City. I was impressed with the amount of news we received but also the release of a second playable character (Catwoman).
ANOTHERDAE: Lets talk about all three Keynotes separately starting with Microsoft (XBox 360, Kinnect). They were much improved over last years keynote as far as presentation was concerned, however the content was predictable. Kinnect, Kinnect, Kinnect and Kinnect TV.
ZOIDBERGER: I would have to agree with Anotherdae on this one, I think Microsoft heard we liked Kinnect so they put some Kinnect in our Kinnect so we can play Kinnect while we Kinnect. The Halo 4 leak took out any “wow” factor they were hoping to create with their closing video.
ANOTHERDAE: Was it a successful showing though? That new Dashboard is impressive, I mentioned to you that it looks like Windows 8. Having a OS that matches and works the same on all of their devises is a smart move. Was this the first TV that is voice activated--I gotta say that is impressive. What do you think and why, don't compare with the other keynotes yet.
ZOIDBERGER: I think Microsoft played it safe, which is to be expected with the kind of success they have had the last few years. They had no real “buzz” with the lineup being released this year, we have come to expect a new Modern Warfare every year, and we knew Gears of War and Mass Effect were concluding (or so they say) their respective trilogies. I would say it was a successful E3 for Microsoft for the simple reason that they didn’t hurt themselves with any of the news coming out of their Keynote. I’m just not sure how much they helped push the Kinnect, the games were lukewarm at best and they completely lost what little chance they had to get any of the core gamers to buy this expensive peripheral.
ANOTHERDAE: Do you think they addressed the PSN Outage well? I'm still downloading my free games from the PSN Welcome Back package so I'm still pretty happy. I really thought we were going to see Kevin Butler, his Tweets lead us to believe he was going to be there (damned fictional characters IRL).
ZOIDBERGER: I was impressed with the way Sony handled their E3. Right from the start they addressed the PSN outage. I thought what was said came off as sincere and honest. They didn’t try to blame anyone about what happened, they owned up to the mistake and said that improvements have and will continue to be made to the system. In all honestly that is all we could have asked for after what happened. They came in with the best lineup of games and left with the same impressive lineup, the PS Vita presentation was right on as well as the playable demo of Uncharted. The PS Move presentation was not as suffocating as the Kinnect and the games hit the core gamer just a little bit more (but JUST barely).
ANOTHERDAE: Microsoft was Kinnect heavy do you feel that Sony was more balanced in their different initiatives, including PS Move, coverage?
ZOIDBERGER: A very well balanced Keynote; I thought the flow of game announcements/demos, Vita presentation, PSN news, and PS Move was right in line with what they wanted. I particularly thought the PS Vita pricing and game titles were impressive.
ANOTHERDAE: I'll say it now, I'm buying the PS Vita. Dual cameras, dual touch screen(/pad), six axis motion control and a larger screen! I'm in for testing out the "transfarring" too; it just makes sense that you would be able to continue your console game on your handheld devise. That's really what its about right same experience on the go?
ZOIDBERGER: I have never pre ordered a handheld before and the Vita might be the first. Going into E3 the only fear people had about the device was pricing and with a $250 price tag Sony has set itself up well for the release.
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ZOIDBERGER: They didn’t announce a release date for the new system. They didn’t release the specs for the new system. They didn’t have a demo of any gameplay on the system. The issue I have with the Keynote was that they basically left the Wii to die (no game announcements, seriously not even one) yet they didn’t give us a release window for the Wii U. The Wii was the weakest graphically of this cycle of consoles, yet they didn’t release the specs on the Wii U. They spent the entire Keynote talking about the control and never once showed the system. I just thought it was a poorly executed unveiling of a next generation system. The 3DS finally get a lineup of games added to its library. It would have been nice to see things like Mario, Starfox, Zelda come out at the systems launch.
ANOTHERDAE: I agree, and even Nintendo stock crashed following their Keynote. Although, I would take that with a grain of salt, Nintendo surprised everyone with their motion control console sales last year I wouldn't write off the Wii U just yet. I do want to know "how does it fit into my living room" I'm just not running out for another Wii peripheral right now.
ZOIDBERGER: The lack of 3rd party developers is what has hurt the Wii the most, the fact that any developer needs to completely remake controls for their games to accommodate the Wii’s motion control is what has led to a lack of games on the system. The only developer to come onstage to show support was EA, apart from the video that was put together by Nintendo's marketing department. Yet the video is identical to what developers said about the Wii and we all know how long they stayed for that.
ANOTHERDAE: The first party games look good but not great. I need more hands for all this stuff, for sure, but it's nothing we haven't seen. I already have 7 Zelda titles add what ever you want to it, it is still Zelda, we need new games.
ZOIDBERGER: I agree that the core games are going to be there. I just don't know what we have left after Mario, Zelda, Starfox, and Donkey Kong are released for the Wii U. Developers say they will make games for the Wii U but with the history of support the Wii received I have my doubts.
ANOTHERDAE: Who do you think the big winner was? I gotta give it to Sony.
ZOIDBERGER: I would agree, Sony came in weak from the PSN attack but garnered some much-needed momentum with the Vita pricing, strong lineup of games, and some much needed confidence from its core supporters.
ANOTHERDAE: This year, all of the Keynotes were broadcast on the internet but, I'm still partial to the Playstation blog with excellent E3 coverage through out the week, Playstation also brought back their home space, which really involve their online fans. Lets not forget that Welcome Back package! All in all giving people a better view of the Playstation world which is what we are paying attention for.
ANOTHERDAE: With all the hype around E3 there is always some disappointments, any come to mind?
ZOIDBERGER: Believe it or not it’s actually not Nintendo for me. It’s Bioware, Star Wars the Old Republic (SWOTR) is the most expensive game ever created and is set to be released late quarter 4 this year. With all that money and the fast approaching release date we thought we would at least get a beta timetable or a confirmed release date. Instead we got another gameplay trailer, which Bioware has been releasing on SWOTR’s fan site regularly. The news of this game has come in trickles and the lack of updates are beginning to worry some of its core fans. I hope the non release of the beta isn’t a sign of problems with this games development.
ANOTHERDAE: Only one here: Gamedae being rejected from getting a media pass. My loyal readers: spread the word about this blog! We need 8000 page views a month to qualify as media for E3 next year. Huge thank you's to our very own secret agent for the "Eyes on the inside" and Goose egg for her on the fly editing. Check back soon for more casual gaming critiques.