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E3 is all about who can present the biggest surprise to get all segements of the gaming population- from the gaming press to the casual and hardcore crowd- excited. It is also about garnering as much main stream attention as possible. Bussiness is also conducted, as companies will decide what games to push in the future based upon what games recieve the best prasie or worst derision. This concentration on prasie, derision and surprise creates a situation where knee-jerk reastions become the rule of the day. At least until cooler heads prevail at some point in the future.
E3 2010 has had my knee jerking so much it almost broke off.
Things began more than a bit sourley when all the big news from Microsoft's Natal event got posted early on USA Today. This turned my view of the event more onto how the press was treated, what their reaction was, and what the message behing all the big announcements seemed to be.
I did not like what I saw and heard.
The event seemed to be a cash throw away designed to reach the mass market, yet it forced the game media into the seemingly uncomfortable of cast member and backdrop, and then provided very little key information about the device other than what we already knew through the leaks. Even worse than that, what Microsoft seemed to be offering were mostly unoriginal Wii clones. Still, the event was more geared towards creating buzz in the main stream, and this video of Kinect being presented on Good Morning America convinced me that the event was at least a bit more successful than my knee-jerk reactions led me to believe. The kinect event left me hoping that Microsoft would have more substantial, hardcore games to show at their presser.
Unfortunately that was not true. Microsoft's showing began well with good information on some rock-solid hardcore titles. Sure, the Gears of War 3 demo went on way too long and looked just like Gears 2, but the whole time I was watching Cliffy B. on stage I had a feeling in my gut that the biggest and most exciting stuff was yet to be shown. And then Microsoft presented some of the most poorly scripted, unappealing and off-putting displays I have ever seen at an E3 presser.
By this point my knee was jerking so hard that you could have probably held me tight and watched as I jackhammered miles of highway into rubble.
It jerked so hard, in fact, that I am still beginning to see the ramifications of some of the better aspects of their demonstration.
ESPN is a pretty big deal, but its impact was almost instantly washed away by the corney delivery the information was imparted.
Kinectimals is actually a pretty cool display of the tech that I was hoping we would get from the much-discussed Milo demo from last year.
Kinect has some cool features, especially in the way you can navigate menues on the 360, but almost all of these better aspects of the presentation were counter-balanced by cheesy scripting and a less than perfect balance between a casual gamer focused software and that sculpted for the hardcore.
Nintendo's presser was a perfect example of how to meet, and even beat expectations. They also managed to present a near-perfect balance between casual games I probably won't play but will sell like gangbusters (Wii Party and Mario Sports Mix) and hardcore titles that I will play (nearly everything else they showed.
I can't comment too much on Sony yet since I haven't gotten to watch the full presser, but I can say that my first reaction to the announcement of Twisted Metal was "Yeah, big surprise. You friggin told us Jaffe was making it at the end of the PS2 version of Twisted Metal: Head On that released like TWO FRIGGIN YEARS AGO!!"
Insert knee into butt, because the more I see about Twisted Metal, the more I get excited about it and feel my old-school Twisted Metal fanboy-bone getting… bigger. (ewwww!)
One big area where you can see both Nintendo and Microsoft managing knee-jerk reactions is in their refusal to give an official price for the 3DS or Kinect, although GameStop is currently listing the device at a whopping $149.99! Please tell me how THAT is a price set for the casual crowd!!
Whoops- I can already feel my knee jerking once again!
This post is a further reaction to Daniel Feit's post E3: Whoever Wins, We Lose