As E3 rumbles on we come to a point where the main conferences are over, yet the news keeps coming and at such a rate that to even attempt to keep track of it all is futile. There are trailers being released here, there and everywhere, new screenshots falling out of the sky, interviews appear like a plague of ants. It is information overload, and with the thousands of different magazines and websites covering the event, are you surprised?
It seems to have come to a point where everyone is caught up in the hype and is just going with the flow. True, E3 is like heaven come to earth for anyone with an interest in games if they are looking for big name announcements, but I struggle to see the importance of games being announced for release late next year with limited in-game footage or screenshots being made available. Perhaps the worst offenders are Nintendo, who with their announcement of WiiU (more on that soon) showed off a lovely video montage of the games we can expect to come to the new platform along with lovely quotes from third-party developers to accompany their slice of game footage. The only trouble? None of the game footage shown from the third-party developers were from the WiiU, instead it was all taken from the console or PC versions.
Don’t get me wrong, I think E3 is a great spectacle, but part of me thinks that it needs to be a bit less of a spectacle and have more substance. Too many game presentations at the conferences were of heavily scripted sequences rapidly moving from game to pre-rendered cut scene back to game. How many games are actually going to play like we saw at the events? If the new Tomb Raider and Need for Speed: The Run both really are full of that many camera angle changes and quick time events, will we still be praising them like we are so quick to right now?
It might just be the cynic in me, but I think some things need to change with E3, either the event itself, or the way the games press cover it. Though as Ben has mentioned in the liveblogs, the rise and rise of opera at the event is to be applauded. I hope the new Hitman has another Opera based level.
More cynicism then from me in regards to Nintendo. Their conference was distinctly underwhelming, I’ve never been a big Nintendo kinda guy, I was always a PC gamer in my younger days and my first console was the PSX, not the N64. As such, the Zelda sequence at the start of their event did nothing for me, whilst showing 3DS games on a big screen was doomed to fail as it lacked the 3D effect which is so essential to that handheld.
They finally got around to showing off what everyone was waiting for with the WiiU. I like Nintendo’s goal to make a ‘deeper’ and ‘wider’ gaming experience, but surely they could have come up with a slightly better name? I full well see where they are coming from with WiiU, but it could’ve done with some work. The presentation of the new console was a bit lacking, they really needed to show off the new box first before coming out with that controller. The lack of details in the conference led to some very confused people on Twitter about whether the new controller was the system and pretty much what the fuck was going on.
At the end of it all it is nice to see Nintendo coming into the HD market, but will their new controller will be able to make the difference between success and failure against Microsoft and Sony? I’m not convinced it will, but if they get the price point right they may have a chance.
I feel like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo have all missed out with their conferences and the third-party developers are running away with the plaudits so far. But then again, is that all down to the way E3 happens now? Remember, Twenty20 cricket is fun, but nothing can beat good old Test cricket.